Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Brogan unsure on Florida Poly timeline, says state needs a lieutenant governor

TALLAHASSEE — Frank Brogan is leaving Florida at the end of this month, capping a long career in public service that includes stints as a classroom teacher, university president and lieutenant governor.

He became chancellor of the state university system four years ago at a time of deep acrimony between the Board of Governors and the Legislature. Brogan worked to ease that tension and, over time, strengthen the board's oversight of the state's 12 universities.

Before he moves on to a similar job in Pennsylvania, Brogan agreed to sit down with the Times/Herald to talk about his tenure as chancellor, the tough road ahead for Florida Polytechnic University and why the state needs a lieutenant governor. Here are some excerpts:

You had a year left on your contract with the Board of Governors and two years remaining in the deferred retirement program. Why step down now?

I had thought later this year I'll start to look around, knowing that I wanted to keep working and knowing that at some point I would have to start to see what opportunities were out there. This one snuck up on me. I was contacted by the search firm handling the Pennsylvania job, and they broached it with me. My original reaction was a bit tepid only because of the timing.

Your first order of business as chancellor was to help end the power struggle and legal battle between the board and lawmakers. Explain how you got it done.

I had some credibility here because I had just moved from the role of the president (of Florida Atlantic University). So I had the ability to say, 'Look. From a president's perspective, I can tell you of the conversations that I've had with many members of the Legislatures on this issue over time. I can tell you how we at the institution level feel the negative effect of the relationship between the Board of Governors and the Legislature over this issue. And it is not helping us as an institution or as a system get to where we need to go because people are mired in this issue.'

Do you consider the resulting settlement agreement your biggest accomplishment as chancellor?

My proudest achievement as I leave is the fact that I leave a system. We weren't much of a system four years ago. We were a collection of really fine universities, each very much with their own personality (and) very much doing their own thing. But as I depart, I will be able to look back on it now and recognize that we're still very fine universities. But more than that, universities that are part of a much better, well organized and nationally recognized system of state universities.

You served four years as lieutenant governor. It's been nearly six months since Jennifer Carroll stepped down, and Gov. Rick Scott hasn't named a replacement. Does Florida need a lieutenant governor?

I happen to agree that Florida's governance structure should include both a governor and a lieutenant governor. We are the fourth-, soon to be third-largest state in the nation. Any governor who sits in that office today needs a partner in a state this large, this complicated, fraught with all of the challenges that we have.

Florida Polytechnic is slated to open in less than a year, but the campus is still under construction and the school needs to raise millions of dollars for scholarships. How confident are you that Polytechnic will be ready on time?

You're looking at a boulder to push up a mountain on this one. Now can we do it as a state? We don't have a choice. There's a statute that has to be followed and a need that has to be filled. So we've got to keep working on the timelines, the deadlines, the accreditation issue and ultimately recruiting beyond just faculty, the students who are going to want to be a part of this. But I can't stress the enormity of sea change between the (Board of Governors') original approach to the creation of a polytechnic university and the language that came in that statute to the same end. Night and day.

Will Polytechnic open on time in August 2014. Yes or no?

It's going to be a tremendous challenge to have it ready by that date.

Contact Tia Mitchell at tmitchell@tampabay.com.

Frank Brogan is leaving Florida to be chancellor in Pennsylvania.

Frank Brogan is leaving Florida to be chancellor in Pennsylvania.

Q&A: Brogan unsure on Florida Poly timeline, says state needs a lieutenant governor 09/03/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 9:12pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 5 ways officials are trying to stop Pinellas' teenage car thieves

    Crime

    In the last week of June, bleeding into the first days of July, 20 cars went missing in the city of St. Petersburg.

     U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, left, takes notes as St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, right, talks about car thefts in St. Petersburg during a meeting earlier this month.
  2. 'Deadliest Catch' captain talks reality TV, Snoop Dogg and Tampa Bay

    Outdoors

    Keith Colburn is best known as captain of the Wizard on the Discovery Network series Deadliest Catch. Colburn and crew go to battle in the Bering Sea working one of the deadliest jobs in America. A seasoned veteran, Keith has filmed 11 seasons of the show and is still going strong with his relief captain …

    Captain Keith Colburn is seen in this undated photo courtesy of the Discovery Channel. Courtesy of the Discovery Channel
  3. Police: Video shows teens watching, laughing as man drowns

    Accidents

    COCOA — Authorities in Florida say a group of teens watched and laughed as a man drowned in a retention pond last week.

    Jamel Dunn drowned in a retention pond in the city of Cocoa on July 9. Cocoa police say they later discovered a group of teens recorded the 31-year-old's drowning on video. [Florida Today]
  4. As Rubio avoids public settings on health care, disabled Tampa man's story gets attention

    Blogs

    Michael Phillips was hunting demons Monday night when the news broke: The Senate health care bill was dying.

    Michael Phillips at home in Tampa with his mother, Karen Clay
  5. HomeTeam 100: Players 51-60

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA - Wharton defensive back AJ Hampton will help lead the Wildcats into the 2017 season. Taken 7-6-17 by Scott Purks