Florida Board of Governors committee rejects some proposed university fees

ORLANDO — The Board of Governors' budget committee Thursday took up new student fees, its first-ever review since the Legislature last year handed over that authority.

Not every university got what it wanted.

Among the committee's rejections were the University of South Florida's proposed "global experience" fee, a $10-per-semester charge that would help finance overseas study and work programs, and Florida State University's "safety and security fee" of 97 cents per credit hour to pay for new campus police officers.

Committee member John Rood said that if the university needs new officers, it should pay for them without new fees.

"This falls into a basic thing we should be doing," he said.

The committee's recommendations go to the full board next month.

Board spokeswoman Kelly Layman said higher education officials continue to review Gov. Rick Scott's budget proposal.

Scott's university system budget came in at about $2.07 billion, compared with the board's recommended $2.5 billion.

One of the big differences: Scott's budget includes no funding for the New Florida Initiative, a top priority of the university system aimed at pumping up research and spurring the economy. University leaders want $150 million.

Scott's plan also includes cuts to the major gift-matching program.

Basic operational costs are roughly the same as the current year's, Layman said. Nearly $150 million in federal stimulus money disappears next year, something that will affect each university differently.

"Generally speaking, we're pleased overall," she said of Scott's proposal.

Florida Board of Governors committee rejects some proposed university fees 02/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 10, 2011 10:11pm]

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