Published on 2012/06/01

Florida Taskforce Looking To Account For Gaps In Higher Education Funding

A new taskforce designed to examine higher education and overhaul the network of state universities in Florida has been warned not to reinvent the wheel by its leader.

“The big question is, is the current economic condition expected to continue?” asked Dale Brill, president of the Florida Chamber Foundation and chairman of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform.

A major issue has reemerged for Floridian higher education, though; the question of how well universities will be able to offset the losses in state funding through tuition hikes. The task force itself was created because state Governor Rick Scott vetoed a measure that would have allowed the University of Florida and Florida State University to raise tuition.

In the wake of massive $300 million cuts to the state’s higher education funding starting July 1, some members of the task force say they should also consider how to ensure that universities have stable, adequate funding. As it stands, universities are being expected to dip into their reserves to make up the difference.

“It’s very hard to do any strategic planning with absolutely no idea, is your budget going up or down?” said University of North Florida President John Delaney.

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