UNF president seeks to reassure community after protests with campus-wide email

Carter Mudgett, Editor in Chief

Reaffirming the University of North Florida’s commitment to free speech, civil discourse, academic excellence and transparency, President Moez Limayem made good on a promise to students at last week’s town hall meeting to release a statement. 

The newly released letter outlines UNF’s efforts to prepare students for their careers and life beyond the university. It also said that the university’s leadership team will “continue to engage with our elected officials.”

Last Thursday, students peppered Limayem with questions about whether he’d protect them from what they saw as attacks by the state on higher education. Earlier this week, Students for a Democratic Society, a student-run advocacy group on campus, released a statement on Instagram about the town hall meeting. 

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In it, they said that Limayem “tried to pacify those in attendance with hollow statements, redirection, and vague commitments to uplift their demands and interests.” The group again listed the four demands they wanted Limayem to meet. 

In recent weeks, UNF has seen multiple protests as students join those across Florida who are outraged about Gov. Ron DeSantis’s pledge to completely defund diversity programs and initiatives in higher education completely

Read below for Limayem’s full letter:

Dear Ospreys, 

I recognize there are many discussions taking place on our campus, in our region and throughout our state about the future and direction of higher education legislation and policies in Florida. I want to share with all members of our Osprey community, my unwavering commitment to your well-being, safety and success.

UNF is an incredible institution with dedicated professionals all working hard for the success of our students. Our institutional culture is rooted in the core values of mutual respect and civility. This has been and will remain our hallmark as this culture and environment lead directly to the success of students as they prepare for their careers and life beyond UNF.

I want to reassure you that we remain dedicated to being a welcoming campus, where individuals from all backgrounds experience a sense of belonging and can find the care, support and resources they need to thrive. I also reaffirm our commitment to free speech, civil discourse and academic excellence. 

As the 2023 legislative session gets underway next week, our leadership team will continue to engage with our elected officials, speak with the Florida Board of Governors, and actively work to ensure that we’ll be able to build upon the remarkable UNF story.  We continue to closely monitor proposals from the state with the understanding that currently filed bills may be amended over the next few months as part of the legislative process. If state law changes, our leadership team will determine how current programs and initiatives may be impacted. With a commitment to transparency, we will provide updates to the UNF community as new information becomes available.

I appreciate each member of our campus community and your contributions to this great University. Please know that I will continue to listen, provide my support and work in partnership with you to shape a very bright future for UNF.


Dr. Moez Limayem



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