February 17, 2023
Wayne State University AAUP-AFT Local 6075, the union of faculty and academic staff, stands in support of United Faculty of Florida (UFF) in their defense of academic freedom from attacks by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
UFF represents over 25,000 higher education faculty and graduate assistants in the state. Over the past few years, the union has struggled against the various efforts of Gov. DeSantis to impose and enforce his political ideology on Florida’s campuses.
These measures have included:
Threats to defund institutions based on teaching of race and race-relations related programs.
Investigations targeting trans students and employees.
Pending regulation from the Board of Governors that virtually eliminates tenure at Florida universities.
Hostile takeover of New College, Florida’s honors university, by extreme ideologues.
Statement from the Florida College System presidents that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives are harmful to higher education.
Stop W.O.K.E. Act, severely restricting faculty and students from learning and discussing issues of race and gender in class.
Intimidating higher education accreditors, allowing secret recordings in classes for actions against faculty, state-sponsored ideology surveys, and more.
In our polarized political climate, we know that attacks against the basic principles of higher education and academic freedom are not solely confined to Florida. We also realize that in struggles for human and labor rights, we need to be united to protect our rights and achieve greater justice.
Therefore, in support of the rights of all members of the higher education system to learn without undue political influence, and in defense of the principles of academic freedom and tenure, we stand in solidarity with UFF and all Florida academic workers.
The above statement was voted on and supported by the membership of AAUP-AFT Local 6075 at the February 17, 2023 general meeting.