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Monday, June 21, 2021

With the highest number of reported employee COVID-19 cases in the country, UF is failing its faculty

UF has had more employee cases than any other school. A lot more.

Opinions generic
Opinions generic

When news broke that UF was ranked No. 2 in the nation for reported cases of COVID-19 by the New York Times, we kept a close eye on the numbers in case we rose to No. 1.

While that hasn’t happened quite yet, we did notice something odd, though. While keeping tabs on each schools’ COVID-19 dashboards, we realized UF has had more employee cases than any other school. A lot more.

In addition to 4,104 student positives, UF has reported 691 positives for its employees and an additional 667 for employees of UF affiliate organizations for a total of 1,358 positives, as of Sunday afternoon. Clemson has reported 232 employee positives. Ohio State has reported 327 employee positives.

No other university comes close to UF’s embarrassingly high employee case count. 

Didn’t UF start tracking cases much earlier than other schools? Yes, but UF’s own data indicates that the vast majority of cases were recorded after the start of this school year.

Isn’t UF a much larger school than its peers? Yes, but Penn State enrolls 89,816 students, yet only has 86 reported employee cases despite reporting over 5,000 student cases.

We imagine a lot of the organizational affiliate cases stem from UF Health and its various locations around the state. However, there is still the matter of the high amount of reported non-affiliate employee cases.

The simplest explanation for all of this, or at least the most symbolic, is that UF has utterly failed to keep its employees safe from its own students.

We’ve seen with our own eyes our school administrators failing to socially distance.

We’ve seen with our own eyes our school administrators ignore our foreign language professors’ request to stay online

We’ve seen with our own eyes our school administrators callously denying faculty proper ADA accommodations.

We’ve seen enough to know that UF’s actions do not line up with its words.

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As the Spring approaches, we know all is not what it seems. We have published a letter signed by over 200 instructors decrying UF’s Spring plan. 

These people are more than just professors, they are people too: people who will bear the cost of UF’s malfeasance with their lives, something UF seems to have forgotten. Our professors, alongside other staff and employees, have gotten sick at an alarming rate.

That’s why they have sounded the alarm bells. UF has failed them this semester. UF will fail us next semester.

The Spring semester is a lie. The Spring semester is a farce. The Spring semester is a circus — but nobody is laughing.

We’d ask UF to do better, but we know it isn’t listening.

The Editorial Board is made up of the Editor-in-Chief, Digital Managing Editor, Engagement Managing Editor, News Managing Editor and Opinions Editor.




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