Fla Council of 100 to Scott: Sign FSU-UF tuition hikes; veto USF-Poly breakupby John Kennedy | April 13th, 2012
The Florida Council of 100, whose leaders include many of the state’s top corporate executives, urged Gov. Rick Scott to veto legislation that would create a 12th public university by separating the University of South Florida from its Polytechnic campus in Lakeland.
But the council said Scott should sign into law a separate measure (SB 7129) that would let Florida State University and the University of Florida raise tuition to whatever level the market will bear.
“Florida’s public postsecondary system has a historic opportunity to take a quantum leap that will ultimately mean more jobs and economic prosperity for Floridians,” wrote Steven Halverson, council chairman and president of the Haskell Company, a Jacksonville structural design company.
Halverson said the tuition bill follows the principles outlined in the counci’s 2010 report, Closing the Talent Gap, which called for bringing the state’s educational programs in line with future economic needs.
But the legislation accelerating the independence of USF’s Polytechnic campus isn’t a wise investment, Halverson wrote in a separate letter to Scott. He said the Polytechnic proposal hasn’t been adequately studied.
“The Council of 100 wholeheartedly supports making our state university system the best in the country,” Halverson concluded. “The future of Florida depends on it. Deciding where and how to invest scarce resources to achieve that objective should be the product of a fact-based, thorough analysis of the return on investment. That analysis hasn’t been done…”