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Legislative leaders cut deal to create "Florida Polytechnic University"

House and Senate budget leaders have reached a deal on a plan to lead the University of South Florida’s Polytechnic campus to independence. The move has been spearheaded by Republican Senator JD Alexander, and over the opposition of USF’s main campus. Lynn Hatter reports under the deal, USF Polytech would become Florida Polytechnic University.

Under the deal, the University of South Florida will receive 10-million dollars a year for five years in order to allow students at the Lakeland Polytech campus to receive their degrees from USF. That money would continue even after the five year limit is over. USF’s college of pharmacy would be moved to the Tampa campus, and the university would receive $6 million annually to fund it.

USF-Polytechnic was one of the many outstanding budget issues that Senate Budget Chief JD Alexander and House Budget Chairwoman Denise Grimsley had to resolve in order to get the final state budget proposal in place so lawmakers can vote on it on Friday.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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