University presidents balk at Scott's request to co-sign tuition veto
University presidents expect Gov. Rick Scott to veto the tuition increase that lawmakers included in the budget. But they didn't expect to be put in the middle of the debate.Here is an excerpt from a story in Saturday's paper about the governor's request that university presidents sign a letter saying they don't want any additional tuition revenue:
Gov. Rick Scott has all-but-guaranteed a veto of the three-percent tuition increase in the state budget and he recently reached out to an unlikely group to aid his cause.
All 12 state university presidents were asked to sign a letter initiated by the governor's office that says they do not want more tuition revenue. In the process, they would have rejected an automatic 1.7 percent increase to cover the cost of inflation.
"As a result of this (year's) historical support for state universities, we are pleased to report that we will not be seeking any tuition increases for the upcoming school year and intend to maintain tuition at current levels," reads a draft of the letter, which is signed "INSERT PRESIDENT SIGNATURE" and addressed to Scott.
Scott's office did not respond to a request for comment about the origin of the letter. University system Chancellor Frank Brogan and several school presidents also declined interview requests.
University presidents participated in a hastily organized private conference call Friday afternoon to discuss the letter.
They were given a 4 p.m. Friday deadline to sign the letter, which came and went with no collective agreement from the 12 presidents.