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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa mayor: Proposed USF cuts petty, short-sighted



Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn spoke out Tuesday against a Florida Senate proposal to cut the University of South Florida’s budget by nearly 60 percent and said other elected officials needed to do the same.

“That is so short-sighted and so petty that it is almost beyond comprehension,” Buckhorn said. “I very much will weigh in. There is just too much at stake. USF has come so far that to cripple it I think would be making a tragic mistake.”

On Tuesday morning, Buckhorn said he had heard by e-mail from Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce president Bob Rohrlack that the chamber was “starting to rally the troops,” and the mayor also was due to get a briefing from USF Board of Trustees chairman John Ramil.

“Every elected official in this county needs to step up make their position known and do whatever we have to do to beat this back,” Buckhorn said.

A cut on the scale proposed in the Senate “potentially knocks the wheels off of one our most valuable economic engines,” Buckhorn said. When USF opens it Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, a $38 million, high-tech medical training center in downtown Tampa , the mayor said it will become even more obvious how important the university is to cultivating innovation and business activity in Tampa Bay .

“If anything, they ought to be growing USF and creating even more opportunities and hopefully the governor will recognize that,” he said.

Buckhorn is married to Dr. Catherine Lynch Buckhorn, an associate vice president for women’s health and professor and director of general obstetrics and gynecology at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, but he said his reaction to the proposed budget cut has nothing to do with her. “My wife’s going to be fine,” he said.

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 12:44pm]


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