HomeEducationUF to Cornell: “The university does not currently have the authority to take the actions you recommend”
UF to Cornell: “The university does not currently have the authority to take the actions you recommend”
September 13, 2021
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
In response to a Chair letter from Alachua County Commission Chair Ken Cornell asking UF and Santa Fe College (SF) to require masks on their campuses, UF President Kent Fuchs responded, “Unfortunately, we do not read the State University System policymaking environment the way you describe in your letter. The university does not currently have the authority to take the actions you recommend. However, my colleagues and I will continue to strongly encourage masks indoors on campus until conditions improve sufficiently.”
UF and SF are currently specifically exempted from the County’s emergency order that requires masks in all indoor locations except private homes. However, Cornell’s letter said the County Attorney “was asked to opine on whether [the County] could extend the order to impose these requirements on University and College properties. Her analysis is that, while your state governing bodies (Board of Governors and Board of Education, respectively) could have regulated in this area, to date they have chosen not to.”
Cornell’s letter warned that if the university and college do not start requiring masks, “the County could remove properties in State University and College Systems from its exemption, thus applying the requirement to these properties.”
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