The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
In this episode I talk with Raymond Issa and Danaya Wright of the University of Florida. They are members of the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Freedom, which has released an interim report on academic freedom issues being experienced at UF. The committee was launched in response to the university's effort to block professors in the political science department at the university from serving as expert witnesses in a voting rights lawsuit against the state. The administration claimed that providing such testimony would be a conflict of interest with those of the university as a branch of the state government. Academic Freedom Alliance, among others, objected to this decision, and the university eventually relented. A lawsuit against the university on this matter is still ongoing. The committee report discusses details of that case, but also provides new details on other instances of faculty being pressured to adjust their behavior out of concern for how state politicians might react. The committee's investigation is continuing. In the podcast, we review the situation at the University of Florida and the findings of the committee thus far.