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UF still won't explain what Dr. Joseph Ladapo does to earn salary

WGFL Gainesville 12/13/2022 CBS4 News
© Provided by WGFL Gainesville

The question seems simple: what does Dr. Joseph Ladapo do at the University of Florida? We have been asking that question since the university hired Ladapo more than a year ago.

It's a question state senators asked Ladapo during his confirmation hearings in February. State senator Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, grilled the Florida Surgeon General asking several questions about his job in Gainesville.

"Can you describe your job duties at the University of Florida?" Senator Polsky asked.

"I'm actually continuing research projects, and I have ongoing research projects I'm performing," Dr. Ladapo said.

She continued asking about his work at UF.

"Can you describe the research projects that you are doing and how much time it takes as an example," Senator Polsky asked.

"Between my family, this role as surgeon general, and my research. I don't get a lot of sleep," said Dr. Ladapo.

READ MORE: Ladapo grilled about UF during senate confirmation hearing today

UF offered Ladapo a full-time faculty position last September, paying $337,000 a year. A spokesperson says the state pays $150,000 of his UF salary.

CBS4 requested months of emails Ladapo sent from his UF account. The university made us pay $52 to get them. After going through more than 300 pages, here is what we found:

On April 27th, Ladapo emailed the senior vice president of UF Health a summary of activities. We tried asking David Nelson why he wanted that information.

Nelson did not respond to our inquiry, and a spokesperson refused our interview requests.

For $337k a year, Ladapo wrote he was involved in research he began at UCLA, working with another professor to help researchers access state data, and that he was discussing guest lecturing for another professor's class.

An email showed UF did not consider Ladapo's work as research. On April 13th, the assistant director of research emailed Ladapo stating, "Overseeing others who are doing data analyses does not qualify as research."

Ladapo contacted the National Institute of Health to complain about UCLA. On June 15th, he wrote: "I have a potential ethics concern related to an NIH Grant."

A spokesperson for NIH would not comment on whether or not the organization received a formal complaint and investigated UCLA.

UF still has not finalized its list of duties for Dr. Ladapo.

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