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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

USF officials remain vigilant on state funding proposal



Florida senators on Wednesday replaced $25 million to the University of South Florida's budget that members had proposed freezing. 

USF officials remained dissatisfied.

Spokeswoman Lara Wade-Martinez issued a statement setting forth the university's concerns. It follows. To see a two-page chart of the school's view of the budget numbers, which is referred to in the statement, click here.

"The statements about "sitting on cash" are a myth. They misrepresent budgets at the University of South Florida. The restoration of $25 million from the USF Polytechnic transfer is only a step in the right direction. The proposed Senate cuts remain devastating to USF and will create immediate cuts to programs. 

"1. Our analysis of our cash position is in this chart - scroll down to page 2. We estimate having $76 million in carry forward by the end of the fiscal year. Given the base cuts proposed by the Senate committee, the chart shows USF being in a negative cash position of $52 million on July 1 -- even if we wipe out all cash and mandated reserves.

"2. The Senate is lumping together all carry forward from all USF System institutions, but the cuts only come from USF Tampa Academic Affairs. In addition, their math includes the carry forward at USF Poly, which of course would be swept if Florida Polytechnic is created.

"3. Carry forward is simply money held over a fiscal year - it is still used to pay for instruction, summer school, academic programs and other obligations and bills. There's a piece of history here. USF's cash position was higher at the beginning of the year because we anticipated the loss of federal stimulus funds ($25 million), which the university received last year, but not this fiscal year. So the $76 million is a better estimate of how much we would normally have - and what we anticipate by June 30 this year."

[Last modified: Thursday, February 16, 2012 9:55am]


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