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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Coming Wednesday: Board of Governors gets back to business



The Florida Board of Governors has a packed agenda set for its regular meeting on Wednesday and Thursday -- and for the first time in months, USF Polytechnic's tenuous future is not on the forefront. 

Yes, there will be talk about the campus's quest to become independent, via an update from the board's select committee overseeing that transition, but the bulk of the meeting will be taken up with more typical business.

In the facilities committee, the most interesting discussion is likely to cover the state university system's PECO requests (Public Educational Capital Outlay). Why? Because that money -- used to build and maintain buildings on school campuses -- is getting scarcer. Last week Florida's university presidents heard that the Commissioner of Education will temporarily suspend the approval of new requests for projects that have already been authorized. That suspension will remain in effect until the Legislature gives further direction on the PECO program. It's a tough pill to swallow, considering that Florida's universities are already in desperate need of repair and maintenance.

The academic and student affairs committee will hear an update on efforts to enhance online learning, coordinate academic programs across institutions and a pilot program aimed at making it easier for adults to return to school and complete their degrees.

The highlight of the strategic planning committee is the 2010-2011 Annual Accountability Report, which gives information on everything from enrollment and degrees awarded to research and commercialization.  An aside: those types of information tidbits were also recently the target of public information requests by both Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Sen. JD Alexander, chair of the senate's budget committee. Perhaps this additional report will help satisfy their curiosity.

In the board's full meeting on Thursday, state university system Chancellor Frank Brogan will give another sweeping status report -- this one from the Higher Education Coordinating Council, formed in 2010 to advise the legislature on higher ed issues and potential reforms. He'll be joined by Marshall Criser III, president of AT&T Florida, who was appointed to the council to serve as a business representative.

We'll bring you the highlights. If you're so inclined, watch the action live from the BOG web cast.

[Last modified: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 11:47am]


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