A new BOG chair, strategic plan and other news from the BOG
After the Florida Board of Governors voted to set conditions on USF Poly's quest for independence, it took up a myraid of other action items worth noting.
The board's chairwoman, Ava Parker, garnered a standing ovation at the end of her last meeting as its leader. Parker's term ends in January, along with several other members. In her place, the board voted to make vice chair Dean Colson, a lawyer from Coral Gables, chairman. Mori Hosseini, the Daytona Beach CEO of Intervest Construction, became vice chair. Fourteen of the board’s 17 members are appointed by the governor in staggered seven-year terms. Remaining are the president of the advisory council of the Faculty Senate, the commissioner of education and chair of the Florida Student Council
As for the new dental school proposals introduced to the board this summer -- amid news that Florida really doesn't need any more dentists, just dentists spread to rural areas -- the University of Central Florida withdrew its proposal, and the University of Florida and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University presented a rural-focused partnership. Though some board members had questions about funding, the board voted to approve the collaboration on the condition that the schools would give more financial information at the board's next meeting.
One of the biggest moves was the approval of the board's strategic plan update for 2012-2025 -- a project the board has been working on for more than a year. It includes an updated mission statement and three new "critical points of emphasis:" excellence, productivity and prioritizing a knowledge-based economy.
The board's budget committee approved five universities' requests to charge higher "market-rate" tuition for certain high-demand graduate programs not in critical needs areas. That includes the USF's master's in nurse anesthesia -- from $26,331 to $57,600.
Then there was a presentation about trends in higher education, which garnered extra attention in light of Gov. Rick Scott's recent comments that the state's higher education world needs to better align itself to emphasize fields in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.