I write to update you about some important developments related to Florida House Bill (HB) 7, the “Stop WOKE Act,” a measure targeting educators, among others, in the Sunshine State. Judge Mark Walker has ordered an injunction of HB 7’s application and enforcement in Florida’s higher education system. You can read the full order here and the ACLU’s press release can be found here. This injunction is a huge win in our ongoing fight for the rights of academic freedom across our state.
The exact legal ramifications of the injunction will be clarified in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, there are a few important consequences of this injunction that we can report:
1. As announced by the Provost at the Faculty Senate meeting on Nov. 17, the UF Board of Trustees’ draft regulation, pursuant to the FL Board of Governors’ “Stop WOKE” regulation, will not be proposed to the Faculty Senate as an action item for implementation as long as the injunction is in effect.
2. The injunction also represents a major victory in our ongoing fight against the Board of Governors’ proposed post-tenure faculty review regulation (BOG 10.003), since review requirements cannot now include considerations of whether faculty have complied to HB 7-related regulations.
Nevertheless, the BOG’s post-tenure review regulation remains a significant threat to academic freedom in Florida. We therefore ask you to sign our petition to protect tenure in the Florida University System, and, if you haven’t already, to provide public comment on this proposed regulation before the extended comment period closes on December 9.
Here’s how to leave a public comment:
- Familiarize yourself with the details of the policy by reading it here.
- Feel free to use our talking-points.
- Here is a template for writing your comment. Remember that personalized perspectives will have the most impact.
- Send your comment to the Board of Governors using their website. Scroll down to “Chapter 10: Miscellaneous Provisions,” then select the “Submit a Comment” link in the “Post-Tenure Faculty Review” box.
- Ask your colleagues, friends, family members, community allies, and local elected officials to also leave public comment on or to otherwise advocate against the regulation.
Paul Ortiz, Chapter President