UF Statement Regarding Latest Developments on National Policy Institute Request

Janine Sikes, Assistant VP of Public Affairs
September 1, 2017

The university is committed to communicating in a timely and transparent manner regarding the National Policy Institute’s request to hold a speaking event on our campus. Today, the university responded to that group’s August 30 letter seeking further dialog regarding their request for that event. We have reaffirmed our decision to deny the National Policy Institute’s request for a speaking event on campus Sept. 12 due to concerns about safety following the events in Charlottesville, Va.

The university is committed to upholding the First Amendment right to free speech, and we have a history of hosting controversial speakers on campus. What this organization stands for does not represent our institutional values. However, it would be unconstitutional to permanently ban this speaker. If the university receives a request for Richard Spencer to speak on a different date, we will use the same careful deliberation and consideration of safety and security factors that we did previously and make that decision accordingly.

We anticipate further written communications between the university and the National Policy Institute and will communicate with the UF community as the need arises. In addition, UF’s information line at 1-866-UF-FACTS (833-2287) may also be a resource.