UF faculty union: School president should risk job and stand up to DeSantis

A faculty union at the University of Florida has been very vocal about urging the university to require masks on campus.

Their newest tactic is to suggest that the president of the university risk his job by issuing a mask or a vaccine mandate at the school.

A faculty union at the University of Florida (UF) is now suggesting that the president of the school risk his job by issuing a mask or a vaccine mandate on campus. 

The UF chapter of the United Faculty of Florida said that UF President Kent Fuchs “can afford to stand up for UF/GNV, even if it gets him fired.”

The tweet, which was posted on Wednesday, justifies this position by stating that “Kent Fuchs makes $900k+ annually and lives rent free in a mansion. He makes more in one year than many UF employees make in two decades.”

“Even if Fuchs were fired tomorrow, he’d never have to work another day in his life. So why can’t he take the same risks that Alachua and Broward County school board members are willing to take on behalf of their schools and communities?,” the tweet read. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on July 30 banning any state school from implementing a mask mandate on campus. A mask mandate on campus would go against the governor’s orders.

[RELATED: University of Florida suspends MULTIPLE conservative groups in one fell swoop]

This comes as Alachua County, the county that the University of Florida is located in, issued a mask mandate in the community, making it the first county in the state of Florida to require people to wear a mask indoors. According to the Daily Beast, “the mandate “will remain in place for seven days, with potential one-week extensions for a total of 42 days.”

This isn’t the first time United Faculty of Florida at UF has pressed the university to implement stricter COVID-19 guidelines. 

Campus Reform reported earlier this month how the United Faculty of Florida at UF, along with the Graduate Assistants United at UF, released a statement urging the university to “require medically-approved, universal mask protection and material support for faculty, students and staff for all necessary in-person and/or indoor instruction and/or normal “office” functions.”

After that statement was released, the University of Florida sent an email to all students that said “in alignment with the recent Centers for Disease Control guidance, we are expecting everyone to wear face coverings in all UF facilities.”

The fall semester at the University of Florida began on August 23. 

In a statement to Campus Reform, the University of Florida stated that “we know members of the UF community have concerns and are facing unique challenges as a result of the pandemic, and we will use the resources and tools available to us to address them. While no state university in Florida has the authority to require vaccines – only the state has that authority – UF is strongly encouraging everyone to get vaccinated and is following state Board of Governors guidance by expecting everyone to wear a mask inside all UF facilities.”

[RELATED: University of Florida threatens to punish students for not wearing masks, socializing]

The statement continued to say that “the best protection possible is getting vaccinated and wearing a mask. Vaccines are safe, effective and widely available on campus. If we all do our part, we will weather the current COVID-19 surge.”

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Florida United Faculty Union and UF President Kent Fuchs, but did not receive a response in time for publication. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @opheliejacobson