Two steps backwards: Florida House close to ramming through concocted college merger plan

From The Capitolist . com,  February 25, 2020

Florida lawmakers are seriously considering a university merger that would fold a pair of smaller, specialized state schools into the much larger University of Florida. But nobody knows why.

Contrary to what the Florida House is trying to do this year, Florida politicians, leaders and business groups have, for more than a decade, called for increasing emphasis on STEM-related education, that is, an intense push for college graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In response, state lawmakers created Florida Polytechnic University in 2012. Here’s how the Florida Chamber of Commerce described it:

The newest member of the State University System of Florida is the state’s only public university dedicated wholly to STEM career paths, where students can major in anything from a B.S. in Computer Engineering to an M.S. in Innovation and Technology. The Lakeland university’s difference is their focus on integrated, technologically-based learning models, that give students hands-on experience and allow them to graduate ready to enter the competitive high-tech workforce.

Economic models show that the demand for a highly educated workforce is likely to be double that of other types of degrees for the foreseeable future. Florida Poly exists because it delivers exactly what Florida’s growing economy needs.

Despite these facts, the bizarre push by lawmakers to consolidate Florida Poly and New College of Florida and allow the University of Florida to absorb their operations continues to march through the Florida House of Representatives.

The most salient question: why?

No compelling case has been put forth, and ethics watchdog groups have condemned the proposal.

Read the entire article here.


Founded in Sarasota in 1960, New College of Florida is the state's only legislatively designated Honors College of Florida. New College prepares intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement by providing a highly individualized education that integrates academic rigor with career-building experiences. New College offers 45 undergraduate majors in liberal arts and sciences, a master’s degree program in data science, and certificates in technology, finance, and business skills.

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