Nov 1, 2021 - Politics & Policy

UF's accreditor to investigate decision to bar professors from testifying

Campus entrance to the University of Florida in Gainesville. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Photo: Campus entrance to the University of Florida in Gainesville. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The University of Florida's accreditor on Monday announced plans to investigate the university over the decision to bar three professors from providing testimony in a case against the state, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Why it matters: The accreditor's inquiry comes days after the state's flagship university prevented faculty members from sharing expertise in a case challenging the new Republican-backed state election law.

  • The university's decision to reject the professors' request for permission to testify could have far-reaching free speech implications for higher education faculty across Florida, Axios' Ben Montgomery writes.
  • UF denied the requests on the grounds that the "activities are adverse to its interests," the university said in a statement Saturday.

What they're saying: "The two [violations] that have arisen from the articles that we’ve read are the ones on impacting academic freedom and undue political influence," Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges, told the Times.

  • “If we find something else, we can always look into them as well," she added.

UF did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper: University of Florida bars professors from testifying in voting rights case

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