The school confirmed on Thursday that it learned of mechanical engineering professor John Schueller’s detention last week.
The school would not comment on the nature of the detention, saying it’s a private matter.
UF spokeswoman Janine Sykes says Schueller was in Abu Dhabi for a conference. She says the school has made sure Schueller has access to a lawyer.
A spokesman for Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida told the Gainesville Sun that his office has been in touch with the State Department and is trying to resolve the situation.
Abu Dhabi police did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Schueller did not respond to an email seeking comment.