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UNF treads carefully to comply with Stop WOKE Act

Moez Limayem visits WJCT-2.jpg
Will Brown
/
Jacksonville Today
Moez Limayem is the seventh president of the University of North Florida.

University of North Florida’s new president, Moez Limayem, says he’s focused on “objectivity” as the school implements Florida’s new law regulating race-related instruction. 

The law restricts schools and businesses from teaching that one race is inherently superior or that anyone should feel distressed by their group's action's. Gov. Ron DeSantis dubbed the law the "Stop WOKE Act," for “Stop Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees Act."

"One of our wonderful colleagues said, ‘I'm covering this article in my class, should I just throw it away?’ Limayem said Wednesday on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross. I said, ‘Absolutely not. If you really believe that that article is relevant, insightful for the learning experience and learning objective — you should keep it. But please, when things are discussed, let's discuss them in an objective manner … and without really any endorsement.’”

Critics say the new law will likely have a chilling effect on classroom discussions. 

Limayem is a former business school dean at the University of South Florida. He became UNF’s new president over the summer, with a base salary of half a million dollars. 

UNF’s fall semester starts Monday.

Claire joined WJCT as a reporter in August 2021. She was previously the local host of NPR's Morning Edition at WUOT in Knoxville, Tennessee. During her time in East Tennessee, her coverage of the COVID pandemic earned a Public Media Journalists’ Association award for investigative reporting. You can reach Claire at (904) 250-0926 or on Twitter @ClaireHeddles.