© 2021 WFIT
Public Radio for the Space Coast
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Politics & Government

UF reverses course and will allow professors to testify in a voting rights lawsuit

Students walk outside of the Marston Science Library on campus at the University of Florida in Gainesville on Sept. 22, 2021.
Students walk outside of the Marston Science Library on campus at the University of Florida in Gainesville on Sept. 22, 2021.

The University of Florida is reversing its position, saying three professors can testify as experts in a lawsuit challenging a new state election law that critics say restricts voting rights.

The university last month had said that the three professors — Daniel Smith, Michael McDonald and Sharon Austin — were prohibited from testifying in the lawsuit since doing so would put the school in conflict with the administration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, which pushed the election law.

University president Kent Fuchs said Friday that he's asking the office responsible for approving professors’ outside work to reverse recent rejections on requests to serve as expert witnesses in litigation.

The announcement comes hours after the United Faculty of Florida at UF urged donors to withhold contributions and scholars and artists to turn down invitations to campus.

They made both requests in an effort to force the administrators to affirm the free speech rights of school employees.

Copyright 2021 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7. To see more, visit WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7.