Coming this week: Board of Governors meeting
The Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state's 11 public universities, has its biggest meeting of the year this week at the University of South Florida.
On the agenda are a handful of interesting issues, including a much talked about proposal that would regulate universities' growth, a Department of Health presentation on the demand for dental professions, and each university's work plan updates and tuition differential requests.
The events kick off this afternoon with a conference call of the board's Facilities Committee, which will hear about the university system's budget, discuss future PECO funding and potentially approve a couple universities' funding requests for construction projects. Those include a student residence hall and a parking garage on Florida International University's main campus and upgrading athletic facilities at the University of Florida.
On Wednesday, each university will present an annual work plan -- a report that outlines the school's top priorities, specific implementation plans and expectations for system-wide goals. This is the second year the BOG has asked for those plans.
Thursday will be taken up by meetings of the rest of the board's committees:
The Academic and Student Affairs Committee will consider two new Ph.D proposals -- one in materials science and engineering at Florida State University and the other in security studies at the University of Central Florida -- in addition to a couple BOG regulation changes.
The Strategic Planning Committee will talk about the state university system's strategic plan and several proposed regulation changes. One of those would give the BOG more control over how universities spread beyond their campuses and is likely to spawn a hot discussion from university leaders. The other interesting tidbit here will be a presentation about the state's need for more dentists, which could guide future decisions about whether to add or expand dental programs at the 11 public universities. Right now UF has the system's only dental school.
The Trustees Nominating Committee will vote to fill vacancies on boards of trustees at FIU, UCF, UF, the University of North Florida and the University of West Florida. UF's trustees chairman, Carlos Alfonso, has expressed frustration at being the only trustee from Tampa. It'll be interesting to see whether that could change.
Finally, the Budget and Finance Committee will consider requests for tuition differential increases. Each school is asking for a 7-percent hike to be added to the 8-percent increase in base tuition already okayed by the Florida Legislature. Total tuition increases cannot exceed 15 percent per year.
After that comes the full board meeting, where all those committee items get (or don't get) the rubber stamp.