Action Items

April 15: Concerned about program cuts and layoffs at UF? The following sites are hosting petitions:

Oppose Every Cut, Save Every Job at the University of Florida

Save UF Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)

April 11: Action Alert: Email Governor Scott (rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com) to veto HB 5005, which shifts retirement costs from the employer to employees for participants in ORP.

April 5: Action Alert: Email Governor Scott (rick.scott@eog.myflorida.com) to Veto SB 1994 (USF Polytechnic)

Background:

The 2012 Florida legislature passed a bill creating a 12th university at a time that the other eleven universities are starved for funds. This idea for the immediate creation of a “legacy” university, proposed by a budget chair who lives in the area, is deeply flawed in several respects.

The state’s Board of Governors, in charge of setting higher-education policy, endorsed a plan to responsibly separate USF Polytechnic from the University of South Florida, and create the state’s 12th independent university. This plan required important benchmarks be met on the way to independence.

However, the FL Senate passed SB 1994, led by Sen. JD Alexander (R-17, Polk County), to unnecessarily speed up the separation of USF Polytechnic from the University of South Florida. The bill will not only slow down the accreditation process, but will leave Polk County without the USF presence that it has enjoyed for more than 20 years.

The new university, Florida Polytechnic would be funded annually at $22 million, even though this new university has no students, faculty, programs, accreditation, or buildings. The final bill did ensure students currently registered at USF Polytechnic would be part of a “teach-out” program, where they will complete and receive their degrees from USF. But, funding for USF Polytechnic is reduced from $18 million to $10 million for these 1,300 students who are currently enrolled.