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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

BOG chairwoman says, for now, USF Poly discussion is only that



After a meeting of the Board of Governors' strategic planning committee, chairwoman Ava Parker shared a few thoughts on the questions swirling around USF Polytechnic's potential split from the USF system.

Parker said while USF Poly's future is a hot issue these days, what's happening the September BOG meeting is merely a presentation of information -- which, she pointed out, was prompted by the community around the Lakeland campus... Not the board.

"What I see this as is an agreement to listen to folks about whatever they want to present," Parker said. "I do not see it as a proposal to dismantle USF."

And she said she doesn't see it as the start of some separation process. The board will not take a vote on the issue in September.

Parker's comments came moments after the board, which governs the state's 11 public universities, wrapped up its talk of a future strategic plan. The USF Poly issue fits into that discussion, particularly when it comes to an increased need for access to higher education.

Frank Brogan, chancellor of the board, didn't mention USF Poly specifically during the meeting, but some of his comments could fit into that separation question.

He said when the board looks at possibly reorganizing its university system, it needs to consider whether changes would actually increase access to degree programs in an efficient way.

"If once you had a branch campus, and today you designate it an independent institution, does it meet all internal obligations you would need?" Brogan asked. Or, "Is it simply more of the same and cost more money because you've create a redundancy of administration and bureaucracy?"

That sounds a lot like what USF President Judy Genshaft told the Times last week regarding USF Poly.

As also part of the access discussion, Brogan highlighted four-year-degree-granting state colleges as good potential options for future expansion.

[Last modified: Friday, August 26, 2011 5:24pm]


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