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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

More USF's shared services, which branch campuses would lose in a split



Today's story about University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft, touching on the USF Polytechnic independence question, centers around costs the Lakeland campus would have to bear should it break off.

Genshaft didn't offer a strong opinion on the subject, only saying that the system is economically successful as a whole, but she did point out the expensive shared services the USF branches currently enjoy. Things like computer systems, legal services, marketing and more.

For a complete look at those benefits, check out the document attached. It's an outline of those shared services that was approved by USF's Board of Trustees in June. There are no concrete numbers included, but the obvious value of those vast collective resources gives a good idea of what USF Poly stands to lose.

In related news, we're now hearing that Genshaft has tapped Marshall Goodman, USF Polytechnic's chancellor, to give a presentation to the Florida Board of Governors on USF Poly's future. The board, which oversees the state university system, asked for such a report after receiving a letter from Polk County leaders last month calling for the campus's split. The effort is being pushed by Sen. J.D. Alexander, the powerful budget chairman from Lake Wales who helped secure $35 million in state funds to build a new USF Poly campus in Lakeland.

Also, apparently Genshaft included a line in her letter back to the board that suggests she'd be open to setting USF Poly free. Or at least, open to exploring options she would NOT consider for other branch campuses. (Stay tuned... we're expecting to get a copy of that letter sometime today.)

In light of that, it's interesting that Genshaft decided to put Goodman in the hot seat -- perhaps giving him a taste of what's to come, should USF Poly actually split?

[Last modified: Friday, August 19, 2011 11:09am]


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