USF President Makes Statement on Arrest

The following is a statement made by University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft to the university's Board of Directors on Thursday's arrest of professor Sami Al-Arian:

I have been dealing with the situation involving Dr. Al-Arian for a year-and-a-half. It has been taxing for me personally, and it has caused a tremendous amount of disruption to this university. And USF as an institution has been dealing with this for nearly 10 years.

It's clear today that law enforcement has been working on this for a long time as well.

I was not particularly surprised by this. There have always been rumors that this might happen. However, it is certainly disturbing when a faculty member is arrested.

I have not seen the indictment. I don't know specifically what it contains.

But it obviously includes more information that we must examine and consider. The arrest itself does not change our course. After we have had an opportunity review the indictment, we will determine whether the information it contains has any relevance to the situation at USF.

I cannot give you a timetable for that at this point.

I know a lot of people have strong feelings about this issue. But we must continue to act prudently and do what is best for USF.

I want to thank the board for your patience and support. And I want to thank our faculty, staff and students. This has been a difficult situation. And it is likely it will continue to be difficult as we move forward.

But the USF community has repeatedly shown resilience and a commitment to outstanding research, teaching and service that makes this a great university.