Negron Outlines Higher Ed Agenda To University Governing Board

Jun 21, 2016

Sen. Joe Negron (R-Stuart) speaks to members of the Florida Board of Governors Tuesday, 6/21/16
Credit Florida Channel

Incoming Senate President Joe Negron says universities should be judged on their four-year graduation rates. And he’s also calling for more money in student aid, research and maintenance projects.

Negron spoke to members of Florida's public university governing board Tuesday. Negron toured all 12 public university campuses in April, speaking with students, faculty and staff, along with presidents.

He says lawmakers will continue to make the ultimate decisions on which university requests get funding.

“I’m content with the current system. I’m staying out of governance and I hope we can work together," he said. "We always look at the three year list and the five year list, and I think that carries weight. But I would never want to give up our role to ultimately make the budget decisions.”

Negron was responding to concerns from board member Dean Colson about how universities and their lobbyists circumvent the Board of Governors in order to get requests funded.

Still, Negron's focus on higher education and putting more money into the system is pleasing to Board Chairman Tom Kuntz. He says it "hasn't always been the case" for the board and legislative leaders to be on the same page.