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.

Located in Sarasota, New College of Florida has educated intellectually curious students for lives of great achievement since its founding in 1960. As the State of Florida’s designated honors college, New College provides an exceptional education that transforms students’ intellectual curiosity into personal accomplishment. The 110-acre campus on Sarasota Bay is home to more than 700 students and 80 full-time faculty engaged in interdisciplinary research and collaborative learning. New College offers nearly 40 areas of concentration for undergraduates and a master’s degree program in Data Science.

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