Judge sides with University of Florida professors in academic freedom case

'Defendants must take no steps to enforce its conflict-of-interests policy with respect to faculty and staff.'

1/22/2022 6:23:00 PM

A federal judge in a decisive free speech ruling ordered that the University of Florida stop enforcing its conflict of interest policy against six professors who were barred from giving expert testimony in lawsuits against the state.

'Defendants must take no steps to enforce its conflict-of-interests policy with respect to faculty and staff.'

University of Florida. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesA federal judge on Friday in a decisive free speech ruling ordered that the University of Florida stop enforcing its conflict of interest policy against six professors who were barred from giving expert testimony in lawsuits against the state.

Driving the news:Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker for the Northern District of Florida accused the university of silencing the professors and granted them a preliminary injunction.Walker likened the university's actions to Hong Kong University removing a sculpture commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Read more: Axios »

Sports

The latest sports headlines and UA Wildcats news in Tucson, Arizona. Read more >>

Erin Doherty University of Florida. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images A federal judge on Friday in a decisive free speech ruling ordered that the University of Florida stop enforcing its conflict of interest policy against six professors who were barred from giving expert testimony in lawsuits against the state. Driving the news: Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker for the Northern District of Florida accused the university of silencing the professors and granted them a preliminary injunction. Walker likened the university's actions to Hong Kong University removing a sculpture commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre. "In many ways, the Pillar’s demise was emblematic of the demise of academic freedom in Hong Kong," Walker said, linking it to the University of Florida's conflict of interest policy. "Defendants must take no steps to enforce its conflict-of-interests policy with respect to faculty and staff requests to engage as expert witnesses or provide legal consulting in litigation involving the State of Florida until otherwise ordered," Walker ordered. Catch up quick: