Governor to review higher ed after tuition clash

May 4, 2012

Governor Rick Scott has created a panel to examine Florida’s public universities.

The move comes after Scott vetoed a piece of legislation that would have allowed Florida State University and the University of Florida to charge higher tuition rates than other state universities. The measure also laid out a set of benchmarks for all schools to meet if they wanted the extra tuition authority.

The state’s university system saw its budget reduced by $300 million dollars this year, even as the state created a 12th public university.

The Board of Governors, which heads the public university system, has been working for the past two years to create a comprehensive plan for the universities to follow in order to ensure growth. In response to the Governor’s announcement of his task force, Board Chairman Dean Colson released a statement additional support is always welcome. He noted however, that the university system already has its own plans in place for its future growth path.

 “During the past two years, the Board of Governors has laid out a comprehensive vision through three significant work products: a new 2025 Strategic Plan, transformed metrics in the Annual Accountability Report, and a three-year work plan template that each university will present annually. We look forward to a meaningful dialogue that bolsters a shared vision for the State University System.”

In his announcement of the task force, Governor Rick Scott said, “the state has a vested interest in ensuring its higher education system produces world-class talent to serve as engaged citizens and meet the demands of Florida’s emerging knowledge-based economy.”

He wants to focus on the system’s ability to improve its effectiveness and create jobs.

Scott’s executive order creating the task force says the group will focus on the State University System’s governance model and the relationship between the board and the universities.

The panel will be chaired by Dr. Dale Brill who is with the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and six other members selected by legislative leaders and the Board of Governors.

The Board of Governors’ announced that it would appoint University of North Florida President John Delaney and current BOG Member Joe Caruncho to the group.

Its recommendations are due to the Governor on October 31st.