STATEMENT OF UNITED FACULTY OF FLORIDA — UF CHAPTER (UFF-UF) AND UF GRADUATE ASSISTANTS UNITED (GAU)
AUGUST 20, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This is a time for unity for the University of Florida.
UF is a premier institution grounded in scholarship, research, teaching and learning, for all. The Faculty and Graduate Assistants of the University of Florida share this universal vision and calling.
Thus, we all stand together to uphold the following principles:
- We welcome and delight in helping students learn.
- We will do our best to provide the means to accomplish this learning.
- We recognize that these are unusual times, and we will adapt, as we all must.
- We stand for protecting the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, administration and the broader “Gator Nation.”
The United Faculty of Florida and GAU are united in our concern over the planned reopening of the UF campus at this time. Despite our own yearning for teaching and learning in a vibrant, in-person, community of scholars, we strongly believe that it is ill-advised and extremely risky to reopen as planned for a start of classes on August 31, and counsel in the strongest terms against doing so.
We believe that opening the campus at this time, except for education that cannot be accomplished in some way other than in-person, is unacceptable and dangerous. The experiences of several other major universities around the country in recent days provide vivid evidence of the inherent risks, as they were almost immediately forced to re-close in the face of COVID-19 outbreaks. These universities had been proceeding with reopening plans very similar to those at UF.
These are difficult times, posing choices that no one wanted to make, with outcomes that are far from certain. But we will improvise, innovate and explore new ways to learn and grow. That, after all, is the essence of education, and as faculty, that is our commitment.
We will work together to prevail against this pandemic.
Paul Ortiz, President UFF-UF Ortizprof@uff-uf.org
Steve Kirn, Acting Chair, 847.528.8282 firstname.lastname@example.org