In light of recent events surrounding the coronavirus and its impact on business operations, Fourth View created the Return My Semester series to better understand how the virus has disrupted the education sector.
Fourth View sent FOIA requests seeking information surrounding finances and guidance connected to COVID-19 from approximately the time campuses began acting.
University of Florida responded to our request, which yielded 7 pages of emails, 1 of which was relevant to our inquiry. Most likely a student (who’s name was redacted) emailed President Kent Fuchs on March 17 asking if students could have the option of taking classes under Pass/No Pass and requested Fuchs take into consideration prorated tuition reimbursements. The student said, “I predict that there will be a decline in overall university grade point average.” Fuchs only responded about an optional pass/fail system by saying it was covered in an FAQ section by the Faculty Senate, but didn’t address tuition refunds.
The FPRL request sought communications, including emails, of President Fuchs, Provost and Senior VP of Academic Affairs Joseph Glover, VP and General Counsel Amy Hass, and CFO Michael McKee, that contained the phrase “tuition reimbursement” or “tuition refund” during the months of February and March of this year.