Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF Poly pays $10,000 for ‘Star Wars,' Captain Kirk and E.T. replicas

Marshall Goodman, regional vice chancellor of USF Polytechnic, had a statue of an Imperial Stormtrooper from Star Wars stored in his office.

EDWARD LINSMIER | Times

Marshall Goodman, regional vice chancellor of USF Polytechnic, had a statue of an Imperial Stormtrooper from Star Wars stored in his office.

LAKELAND — Darth Vader has come to the University of South Florida Polytechnic.

For $10,000, the school that is making a bid to become an independent university bought a life-sized statue of Star Wars' dark lord, along with an Imperial Stormtrooper, E.T., and the chair of Star Trek's Capt. James T. Kirk.

The news comes at a time when two state senators want USF Poly's expenditures scrutinized. Sens. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, and Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, a week ago asked regional chancellor Marshall Goodman for an immediate audit in the wake of accusations that he's been mismanaging his campus' money.

Dockery called the science-fiction statue collection "another example of questionable expenditures at a time when we're trying to stretch education dollars across all the various needs that we have."

Comparing itself to Google, USF Poly said it needed the sci-fi collection to "encourage inspiration beyond conventional thought" in its business incubators. They supplement an environment of bright paint colors, modern furniture, bean bags on the floor and inspirational sayings on the walls, according to a memo justifying the purchase.

The 7-foot-tall Darth Vader comes with a cape and light saber. The E.T. statue, made of "composition over foam," has replicas of Reese's Pieces at his feet.

The stormtrooper, which for a while was stored in Goodman's office, is missing his right hand, but "will require a simple repair," records state. The wooden Star Trek captain's chair is painted with Captain Kirk's likeness; if you wanted, you could sit down in his lap.

The collection was paid for this summer with money donated to the branch campus, and USF Poly says its value far exceeds that cost. The school knows because it paid almost $1,000 alone to appraise it, and according to that evaluation, USF Poly got a deal. The collection is worth $21,400, the appraiser's invoice shows.

But what does Star Wars have to do with USF Poly? A spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

According to the memo, the funds primarily came from the Central Florida Development Council. That entity has voiced support for USF Poly's quest to split off and become the state's 12th university — a decision in the hands of the Florida Board of Governors, which meets Wednesday.

They stand with others, including state Senate budget chairman J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, who say USF Poly cannot thrive under USF's reign.

On the other side are USF students, faculty, hundreds of Polk County residents and several state legislators who say the school is stronger with the system.

Dockery said Goodman still hasn't responded to the audit inquiry sent about a week ago. He hasn't even confirmed that he received it.

But somehow, about 10 minutes after Dockery e-mailed the request to Goodman, Alexander heard about it and sent someone to Dockery's office for a copy.

Kim Wilmath can be reached at (813) 226-3337 or kwilmath@sptimes.com.

USF Poly pays $10,000 for ‘Star Wars,' Captain Kirk and E.T. replicas 11/07/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 10:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]
  2. Trump, seething about attorney general, speculates about firing Sessions, sources say

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as he continues to rage against Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation.

  3. John McCain to return to Senate for health care vote

    WASHINGTON — The Senate plans to vote Tuesday to try to advance a sweeping rewrite of the nation's health-care laws with the last-minute arrival of Sen. John McCain — but tough talk from President Donald Trump won no new public support from skeptical GOP senators for the flagging effort that all but …

  4. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  5. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.