Rick Scott Forms Task Force to Reform Florida UniversitiesNews, Politics, Tuition, UCF Administration, UCF SGA — By Staff on May 8, 2012 at 11:40 am Tweet
Universities across the state have a close eye on “The Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform” Florida Gov. Rick Scott created with an executive order on May 4.
Among the objectives of the task force are to make recommendations to Scott on how the state universities can improve transparency, accountability and achieve a greater efficiency with reduced duplication of services.
“The Task Force shall, no later than November 15, 2012, provide a written report to the Governor, the Senate President, and the Speaker of the House detailing assessments and recommendations consistent with the responsibilities above,” according to Scott’s executive order.
Scott recently vetoed a bill which would have allowed Florida State University and the University of Florida to raise tuition to unprecedented levels. Scott’s office has told KnightNews.com in the past that instead of raising tuition, the governor wants universities to tighten belts like Florida families have been forced to do in the tough economic times.
At the University of Central Florida, students have recently complained about spending decisions after KnightNews.com reported that UCF administrators attended a lavish red carpet party thrown by the Student Government Association in its own honor.
Attendees got to walk down the red carpet, where a professional photographer snapped portraits outside the grand ballroom. Inside, attendees enjoyed a fancy four course meal and watched as SGA members gave themselves awards — paid for with student fees that have risen in recent years.
Students were outraged when they read how KnightNews.com learned the lavish event cost between $8,000 to $10,000.
“Wish I could shrug off 8 to 10 grand as if it was nothing. SGA should just hold a bonfire where they burn 10 grand and invite the whole student body to watch. At least then we could actually attend the event where our money is wasted,” student Bryan Maune posted on KnightNews.com’s Facebook page.
The controversial spending of student fees comes as university leaders argue they can’t afford state budget cuts and insist tuition increases are necessary.
When talk of the cuts were hot in Tallahassee, UCF told KnightNews.com it has already cut back — and the Legislature keeps the cuts coming anyway.
“UCF’s state budget now has been cut about $150 million during the past five years,” UCF spokesman Grant Heston told KnightNews.com in March.
Check back to KnightNews.com for updates on the new task force.