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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fasano calls for firing of Marshall Goodman, former USF Poly leader on paid leave



 Enough is enough, says Sen. Mike Fasano.

In the wake of a USF investigation that asserted financial mismanagement and a hostile working environment under USF Poly's former leader, Fasano is now calling for Marshall Goodman's permanent dismissal from the state university system.

Goodman, 55, is now on a year's paid leave from USF after President Judy Genshaft removed him from his administrative post late last year. The December decision came after USF Poly faculty levied a vote of no confidence into Goodman.  Along with Sen. JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales, Goodman had been one of the loudest voices clamoring to split USF Poly off from the USF system -- a split that's about to happen, thanks to Gov. Rick Scott's signing of a bill last week that puts it in statute.

While on leave, Goodman is still bringing in a salary of more than $250,000 a year. When he returns, Genshaft told him in December, he will be allowed to return to the faculty at $150,000 a year.

That doesn't sit will with Fasano.

“It is time for the University of South Florida to make a clean break from former chancellor Goodman,” Fasano said in a statement. “The fact that he is lurking in the shadows, all while the legislature and the governor have approved the creation of Florida Polytechnic, is troubling... Unless the Board of Governors makes a clean sweep and permanently cuts ties with this individual, the reputation of the University of South Florida will suffer, and Florida Polytechnic will forever have a pall cast over it.”

Fasano, R-New Port Richey, has been one of the most ardent critics of the move to make USF's branch campus in Lakeland into Florida Polytechnic. Back before the idea was even formally considered by state leaders, he and Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, called for a full financial audit into USF Poly's spending under Goodman. They had concerns following news that Goodman pledged $500,000 for a documentary video of the new campus's construction, in addition to $10,000 he spent on Star Wars statues and that he hired two of his sons.

Fasano now says it's possible law enforcement may have to get involved "to further investigate the mismanagement of these public dollars."

"Would this have changed the course of this string of activities?" Dockery wonders about the financial audit they never got. "Would the Board of Governors have done something differently? Would the Legislature have done something differently? Would the Governor have done something differently? We don't know." 

[Last modified: Thursday, April 26, 2012 3:09pm]


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