University of Florida president says he will step down

University of Florida president says he will step down
Doug Engle/The Gainesville Sun/USA Today Network

University of Florida President Kent Fuchs will step down, a decision he said was in the works for months, he announced in a video on the school’s Twitter account Wednesday.

Fuchs will remain until a replacement is appointed, he said, adding he expects the transition in early 2023.

He did not mention any controversies of his tenure, focusing on his future, resume and achievements. He closed quoting the Bible, in which the apostle Paul told Timothy, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”

“I have planned that the final phase of my career would be as a member of the teaching and research faculty in my home academic department, electrical and computer engineering, here at the university,” he said.

Fuchs informed the chair of UF’s Board of Trustees in August that he wanted this to be his last year as president, he said. The board agreed an announcement would be made in January, Fuchs said.

The university is facing scrutiny over allegations of undue political influence after professors were barred from testifying as paid experts in a voting rights lawsuit targeting the state of Florida and other parties. The university — which originally barred professors from testifying, only to later say they could if they were not paid — quickly reversed its stance, allowing faculty to be paid for testimony.

A faculty senate report last month detailed a culture of fear among faculty members alleging political influence, as well as instances of pressure to destroy and delay publication of Covid-19 research.

Following the faculty senate’s report, the university launched an investigation.

Wednesday marked the first day of UF’s spring semester.

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