What does “in an objective manner without endorsement” mean?
This language is not defined by Florida law, and the Florida Legislature did not provide guidance on what this language means in the context of implementing or complying with the requirements. The University interprets this phrase according to its plain meaning and consistently with faculty members’ existing obligations to teach their academic subjects in an objective and skillful manner. As stated in the FSU Faculty Handbook section on Academic Freedom:
Academic freedom and responsibility are essential to the full development of a university’s faculty and apply to teaching, research, and creative activity, and assigned service. In the development of knowledge, research endeavors, and creative activities, a faculty member must be free to cultivate a spirit of inquiry and scholarly criticism and to examine ideas in an atmosphere of freedom and confidence. A similar atmosphere is required for excellence in university teaching. Consistent with the exercise of academic responsibility, an instructor must have freedom in the classroom to discuss academic subjects. The university student must likewise have the opportunity to study a full spectrum of ideas, opinions, and beliefs, so that the student may acquire the critical thinking skills crucial to success in life and occupation. Objective and skillful exposition of such subject matter is the duty of every instructor, and the university does not serve to shield individuals from experiences of ideas and opinions that differ from their own.
Also, see Article 5 (Academic Freedom and Responsibility) of the UFF-FSU Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”).