Oelrich to sponsor UF fee bill
UF president Bernie Machen told the university's board of trustees this week that his proposal to charge undergraduates an additional $500 per semester is likely dead for this year, but that isn't stopping Steve Oelrich, the freshman senator from Gainesville, from taking up the cause.
Monday, Oelrich will join Machen and other UF and state university system representatives in the Capitol Rotunda to pitch the bill, which would set up UF as a pilot school to charge the fee.
Machen says he'll use the $36-million in additional annual revenue to hire 200 new faculty members and 100 academic counselors -- changes he hopes will vault UF into the top-10 list of public universities.
FSU president T.K. Wetherell supports the fee, no doubt because he too wants to hire dozens of new faculty and strengthen his institution's national reputation. And if the UF pilot is successful, FSU is seen as the next likely candidate to try out a similar fee.