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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Chancellor: SUS might have to shrink by 17K seats



Rosenberg These numbers are still soft because the state's budget situation remains very uncertain in terms of just how bad it will get, but they are worth noting...

With $157-million already cut from Florida's 11-university system and as much as $171-million more to be cut this budget year, Chancellor Mark Rosenberg (left) is warning university presidents that they might need to cut enrollment by as many as 17,000 students to match their dwindling financial resources.

"The enrollment levels in the original 2007-08 General Appropriations Act were based on a level of state funding that has not materialized," Rosenberg recently wrote in a memo to presidents. "If we cannot afford to hire faculty and advisors, we do not have the capacity to enroll students."

To maintain current student/faculty ratios (which are already among the worst in the country), the budget cuts so far would force the 11 universities to shrink from 298,000 students today to 276,000.  Gov. Charlie Crist's proposed enrollment growth money -- about $50-million -- would restore 5,000 seats, for a total of 281,000.

That's a 17,000-student cut. The cuts could come over time, rather than all at once. Still, that's a lot of rejection letters for high school seniors. That's a lot of angry parents, i.e. voters...

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:34am]


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