Alexander on higher ed cuts: Still looking for “what fair is”by John Kennedy | February 20th, 2012
University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft and Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander held a closed-door huddle Monday over the Senate’s deep cut in financing for the Tampa-based school, which supporters said was retribution for the administration’s alleged resisting of Alexander’s push to make USF Polytechnic an independent university.
Genshaft and Alexander met with reporters following the meeting, but provided little detail.
Genshaft said USF planned to provide more data to Alexander about its financial needs and proof of its effort to meet the benchmarks set last fall by the State University System’s Board of Governors. The benchmarks are to be reached before Polytechnic, based in Alexander’s home Polk County, achieves independence.
For his part, Alexander said he would reexamine the proposed budget cut, which currently takes $400 million from the state’s 11 universities.
USF would absorb the biggest cut, $78.8 million. Florida Atlantic University is facing a $47 million reduction, which FAU President M.J. Saunders called “devastating” for her institution.
Alexander said he was willing to take another look at the spending plan.
“We’ve got to work through what fair is,” Alexander said, flanked by Genshaft.