The straight-talking return of Charlie Reed
Florida's former higher education chancellor, Charlie Reed, who holds the same position in California, was in Tallahassee Monday. It was probably just as well that the governor and legislators weren't within earshot.
What Reed had to say about the state of the state university system was almost uniformly bad, from tuition (too low) to the Bright Futures scholarship program (merit-based, not need-based as it should be) to excessive political interference in the system by elected officials to a dysfunctional Board of Governors that can't set tuition rates.
"You have a lot of work to do," Reed said. "Florida's future economically and socially and the prosperity of this state is at stake ... Only Florida has made such a mess of its own governance system."
Reed, who also served as chief of staff to a Democratic governor, Bob Graham, was the luncheon speaker at a meeting of the LeRoy Collins Institute in Tallahassee. The audience included former FAU President Frank Brogan, former Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay, and former FSU President Sandy D'Alemberte.