A presidential task force will document the history of UF in relationship to race and ethnicity, particularly African-Americans and Native Americans.

Lead: Executive Chief of Staff Win Phillips

  • Student, staff and faculty members of the task force have been confirmed. The committee has been meeting bi-weekly since October 2020.
  • Taskforce members:

    David Canton
    Director, African American Studies Program
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

    Hazel Levy
    Assistant Instructional Professor of Genetics, Department of Biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Graduate Student, Higher Education Administration, College of Education

    Adreanne Martinez
    J.D. Candidate, University of Florida Levin College of Law
    2020 UF Graduate, Department of Political Science and Department of History

    Jane Morgan-Daniel
    Liaison Librarian
    UF Health Science Center Libraries

    Paul Ortiz  
    Director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Gabriella Paul

    Adjunct Lecturer of Digital Production, Digital Desk Editor for WUFT News

    College of Journalism and Communications 

    Winfred Phillips - Lead
    Executive Chief of Staff, Office of the President
    University of Florida

    Katheryn Russell-Brown
    Levin, Mabie & Levin Professor of Law
    Director, Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations
    Levin College of Law

    Kenneth Sassaman  
    Hyatt and Cici Brown Professor of Florida Archaeology
    Department of Anthropology
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 

    Jon Sensbach
    Professor and Chair, Department of History
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

    Carl Van Ness
    University Historian/Florida Political Papers Archivist
    George A. Smathers Libraries


    • Wall mural recognizing the history of African Americans at the University of Florida at the Reitz Union's Grand Ballroom grand hallway has been approved.
    • Task force report in progress: Completion estimated Spring 2022
    A second presidential task force will review and recommend values, principles and reasons for establishing and maintaining honorary namings, both historic and current. The task force will further recommend a process for individuals associated with UF to be identified and considered for (cont.)

    ...future honorary namings in accordance with current values and principles, and may suggest individuals for future consideration.

    Lead: Vice President Amy Hass

    • Student, staff, faculty and alumni members of the task force have been confirmed. The task force has been meeting bi-weekly since November 2020.
    • Taskforce members:

      Will Atkins 
      Interim Assistant Vice President
      Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

      Aysia Gilbert 
      UF Student, UF Alumna

      Robyn Hankerson 
      President, UF Black Alumni Association

      Amy Hass - Lead 
      Vice President and General Counsel

      Scott Hawkins
      Vice Chair, Jones, Foster, Johnston & Stubbs
      Former Chair, University of Florida Foundation
      Former President, UF Alumni Association (1998-99)
      Former President, UF College of Law Alumni Council
      Member, Council of Advisors, Bob Graham Center for Public Policy

      Steve Noll 
      Master Lecturer
      Department of History
      College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

      Curtis Reynolds 
      Vice President for Business Affairs

      Judith Russell
      Dean of University Libraries

      Wolfgang Sigmund 
      Department of Materials Science and Engineering 
      Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering

      Kylee Sipowski
      Student, Levin College of Law

      Karen Sprague 
      Chief Operating Officer / Sr. Associate Vice President 
      UF Advancement

      Lynda Tealer
      Executive Associate Athletics Director for Administration 
      UF Athletic Association

      Elaine Turner
      Dean, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

      Carl Van Ness
      University Historian / Florida Political Papers Archivist 
      George A. Smathers Libraries

      UF will remove monuments or namings that UF controls that celebrate the Confederacy or its leaders.

      The monument in St. Augustine to Gen. William Loring was moved to private property on August 24, 2020, and Gen. Loring’s remains are being handled in accordance with the wishes of his descendants.

      Although there is no evidence of racism associated with our “Gator Bait” cheer at UF sporting events, there is horrific historic racist imagery associated with the phrase.

      The University Athletic Association and the Gator marching band have discontinued the use of the cheer. 

      UF IFAS is no longer using prison or jail inmates to provide farm labor.

      IFAS use of inmate labor was discontinued fall of 2020.  Alternative paid labor is now used to support research and teaching programs. 

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