UF reverses course, but is the damage done?

President Kent Fuchs of the University of Florida, on Friday recommended reversing the university’s “conflict of interest”policy in addition to ordering a reversal on the voting rights case, but is it too little, too late to salvage UF’s reputation which has taken a major hit in the last two weeks?

And for what it is worth, this hasn’t really solved the underlying issue which cannot be erased.

“While the University of Florida reversed course and allowed our clients to testify in this particular case, the fact remains that the university curtailed their First Amendment rights and academic freedoms, and as long as the university’s policy remains, those rights and freedoms are at risk. We are continuing to assess our options,” an attorney for the three professors’, David A. O’Neil, said in a statement.

So where does UF and President Fuchs go from here, after being embarrassed nationally?

It’s hard to envision The University of Florida under Fuchs’ leadership turning around the narrative and salvaging its reputation among academics and even some alumni. The few alumni, that I have corresponded with in the last 24 hours are unmoved by Fuchs’ reversal and assume the school’s accreditation may have been seriously threatened for Fuchs to take the actions he did.

Restoring trust and reputation may be beyond President Fuchs’ station right now. We will continue to keep an eye on development at UF in the coming weeks. It is most certainly a critical time for Florida’s flagship academic institutuon.

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