Could Texas higher ed reforms work for Florida?
We've been hearing about Texas a lot lately in Florida's higher ed circles -- that's because Gov. Rick Scott is apparently exploring reforms proposed by that state's governor that would emphasize merit-pay and limit tenure for professors. Scott hasn't publicly said he wants to follow suit, but "It does get the conversation going," Scott told the Orlando Sentinel. Here's a link to Texas's seven-point plan.
In response, Florida State University President Eric Barron put together a report titled "Breakthrough Solutions For Higher Education:
Florida Can Do Better than Texas." Instead of judging teachers' effectiveness by the number of classes they take, for example, Barron suggests considering freshmen retention and graduation rates instead, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Barron presented his ideas to FSU's board of trustees earlier this month, and sent a copy to state university system Chancellor Frank Brogan and Board of Governors chairwoman Ava Parker this week. Click here for the full report.
At the board's meeting on Thursday, several members said they wanted to learn more, perhaps even take a collective stance on potential reforms before things really heat up. They didn't take any action, but Parker asked Brogan to make a list of other states' ideas and policies, along with their pros and cons for the November meeting.
Meanwhile, the University of South Florida's chapter of the United Faculty of Florida told its members in an e-mail this week to keep a close eye on the issue. "Fall is the time when legislation is drawn up: the spring session is merely when it appears on the floor. So the UFF is paying close attention to these developments."