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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Provost: University system must stem 'brain drain'



JACKSONVILLE -- Florida must take significant action to stem the loss of high-quality faculty at its colleges and universities if it wants to remain economically viable, University of South Florida provost Ralph Wilcox told officials gathered Wednesday at the University of North Florida.

Citing the example of internationally renowned robotics researcher Robin Murphy, who recently was lured away from USF by Texas A&M University, Wilcox said that faculty "brain drain" eventually will result in "student brain drain" as young people take their education dollars outside the state.

Ultimately, Wilcox said, Florida’s economy will suffer.

"Continuing stagnancy or attrition will result in irretrievably lost opportunities along with diminishing economic investment and growth," Wilcox said. "We need to build not just the breadth, but the depth of our faculty."

To make that more likely, Chancellor Mark Rosenberg will recommend today that the board that oversees the university system ask the Legislature for $65.4-million to help retain university faculty and staff.

Other items included in the 2009-10 budget proposal are $14.6-million for student safety and $20-million to allow the state university system to continue its 2+2 program for transfer students.

Today’s vote is the first step in the annual process that ends with the spring session in Tallahassee.

Donna Winchester, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:52am]


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