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Report Blasts State of Academic Freedom at U of Florida

December 8, 2021

A University of Florida Faculty Senate special committee charged with reviewing the state of academic freedom at the university released its report Monday, noting significant problems faced by researchers of COVID-19, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

The report discussed several “challenges” faced by researchers who were working on COVID-19 with an unidentified state entity. It described “external pressure to destroy” data as well as “barriers” to accessing, analyzing and publishing the numbers. Together, the report said, those problems “inhibited the ability of faculty to contribute scientific findings during a world-wide pandemic.”

The report also said that employees were told “not to criticize the governor of Florida or UF policies related to COVID-19 in media interactions.” It said they were told not to use their university titles or affiliation in written commentary or to give presentations.

The university declined to comment on the report.

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