Influential state Sen. J.D. Alexander made his pitch for a separate Polk County university to the State University System Board of Governors Thursday.
Alexander, R-Polk and chairman of the Senate budget committee, wants the University of South Florida Polytechnic to split from the USF system.
WUSF radio’s Steve Newborn reports:
So far, the site of the proposed USF Polytechnic campus is little more than a cow pasture. But USF Poly Chancellor Marshall Goodman compares his proposed new school to its neighbor a ways down Interstate 4.
“Now think for a minute about a visionary decades ago,” Goodman told the state Board of Governors. “He came to Florida from another state and what he saw was swampland, mosquitoes and gators. And he bought all of it that it could. And he dreamed of something better in that space: a mouse…Obviously, as a distinctive university, we would be able to develop and grow programs with greater flexibility that we can as a complex organization that has a number of competing interests,” he said.”