So-called "turf-war" regulation moves along
The draft of a State University System regulation that would more tightly control how universities expand beyond their regional areas moved to the next stage in the approval process Thursday, with members of the Board of Governors voting to pick up the proposal at its next meeting in September.
The regulation would require university presidents to notify presidents of other universities if they seek to open up new facilities in their neighbors' backyards. It illustrates eight state "regions" and the universities that fall in those prospective areas. The University of Florida, which is based in Gainesville but operates in different capacities all across the state, has been particularly vocal in criticism of the regulation.
At the Board of Governors meeting Thursday, UF President Bernie Machen said he was mostly frustrated that the university presidents haven't yet had a seat at the discussion table.
"I think a problem we've got is the way the process has unfolded. This should be handled more as a charette than 'mail in your comments and wait,'" Machen said. "You need to get representatives in a room and talk about it. That has not happened."
Board members ended up voting to publicly notice the regulation, which means they'll take it up for a vote at their next meeting. Before that happens, however, they'll seek recommendations from a new task force of board members and university presidents. Several board members made it clear that the regulation details currently on the table would likely change a great deal, based on the obvious discontent of the universities.
"I think what we have in front of us is markedly different than what we're going to end up with," said board member Tico Perez.