University of South Florida Polytechnic

Natalie Ekdahl

Choosing the right college or university is usually a big decision for most students, but choosing an untested one was an even bigger decision for Edison Collegiate High School Senior Natalie Ekdahl.

When she told her friends where she was going she says,  “most of them asked what it was, they’d never heard about it. But a few of them, they were excited about it and had heard good things about it too.”

A bill that would help create the state’s 12th public university is now in the hands of Governor Rick Scott. As Sascha Cordner reports, the bill’s most influential backer made a trip to Tallahassee to petition the Governor to approve his bill.

Senate Budget chief JD Alexander says he feels good about the discussion he had with Governor Rick Scott Thursday regarding his bill, Senate Bill 1994.

Alexander has been a huge advocate of splitting University of South Florida from its Polytechnic Campus, thus creating the state’s next public 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.

The Florida House has agreed to start negotiating with the Senate on the proposed creation of a 12th public university in the state of Florida. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, the measure had several Democrats asking why a new school is needed:

Making the University of South Florida’s Polytechnic Campus in Polk County a separate university from USF has been a major priority for Senate Budget Chief JD Alexander. In fact, that’s what drove him to craft a bill to do so.

Tampa Bay Times

Senate budget Chief JD Alexander and University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft met face-to-face for the first time Monday since squaring off back in November. The two are at odds over a plan to allow the University’s Polytechnic Campus to work toward becoming the state’s 12th state university. Lynn Hatter reports the University is also at odds over the Senate’s higher education budget.

The Senate budget committee hearing almost broke down Wednesday over a battle to fund the University of South Florida and its Polytechnic Campus. Lynn Hatter reports after hours of blistering criticism, the Senate backed off a plan to hold back money from USF until it handed over Polytechnic as part of a plan to eventually make the campus an independent university.

The University of South Florida’s polytechnic campus could be on a fast-track to becoming the state’s 12th public university under a senate proposal. Lynn Hatter reports the proposal slipped into the Senate’s appropriations budget would grant the college almost immediate independence from its parent university.