Union urges Florida faculty to ignore controversial survey
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There are concerns about survey respondent anonymity.

A union representing faculty at Florida’s state universities is discouraging members from participating in a survey meant to suss out the political leanings of students and employees and the political climate on their campuses.

The measure passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed into law last year by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis requires public universities to conduct an annual assessment of viewpoints and freedom of expression on campuses. The Board of Governors and State Board of Education will be required to compile and publish the results.

The proposal also mandates that students be exposed to a variety of political viewpoints and that they not be “shielded” from those arguments. Supporters of the legislation accused universities of drowning out conservative student voices.

A federal judge last week denied an emergency request to stop the survey, though opponents can still file an appeal.

In a letter to its members, the United Faculty of Florida urged faculty, staff and students to ignore the survey, saying it would create a chilling effect on free speech and freedom of association on campuses.

“Florida’s government has no right to know the thoughts, feelings, or political or religious beliefs of anyone, including the higher education community,” the letter said. “Privacy is the bedrock of democracy and a safeguard against autocratic control.”

The union says that while the surveys are supposed to be anonymous, faculty members can be identified and targeted through questions about their demographic background and where they work.

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Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


4 comments

  • BRUCE HOGMAN

    April 4, 2022 at 5:26 pm

    Personal privacy should be the bedrock of universities and of such surveys. The survey should come with a mandatory privacy notification that says it obeys federal privacy law. If it does not, then the survey is violating federal law. Q.E.D.
    That said, I would not trust the Florida State government to obey the law.

  • Academic soapbox

    April 5, 2022 at 7:26 am

    This is a public institution funded by taxpayers, staffed by public employees, governed by public laws and operating in the service of public policies and goals. I, for one, want to know how many professors profess that freedom of speech is just for some but not for all

  • Like me

    April 5, 2022 at 11:48 pm

    “I for one want to know”

    If you want to know the free speech opinions of people who don’t care about you

    Ask your parents lol

  • JD

    April 6, 2022 at 6:10 am

    I wish they included the survey again.

    The survey doesn’t explicitly ask if about the professors view on freedom of speech. It would have to be inferred and that’s not evidence, it’s bordering a witch hunt.

    I’m starting to think people wanted this because of deplatforming of political figures off social media or to set the seeds of their own indoctrinate. The former is punitive. The later is scary.

Comments are closed.


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