The fight over whether to create an independent 12th university from the University of South Florida Polytechnic provided the most dramatic moments of this year’s legislative budget debate.
Students bused up to the Capitol to protest. Newsrooms flooded the zone and made it the big story. And senators questioned their colleagues’ motives — and candidness.
Lawmakers wrapped up a budget deal this week, with the key concession to Senate budget chairman JD Alexander to create the new university. Here’s a wrap-up on everything USF-related in the budget:
USF Poly students can finish their degrees in Lakeland — University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft told USF Polytechnic students that spinning off the state’s 12th state university will not mean the student must begin commuting to Tampa, according to the Lakeland Ledger.
“Please, please tell them they can graduate from the University of South Florida,” Genshaft said. “There is so much confusion, and there are so many misconceptions, but they can get a USF diploma.”
USF pharmacy school gets its $6 million — Pharmacy students went to Tallahassee to protest cuts that would have gutted the school’s budget. But this week’s deal means the school will be fully funded next year.
Despite USF Poly split, Genshaft is happy — The budget deal adds money to help USF pay for the cost of creating the new university.
“I am very pleased with the outcome,” Genshaft told the Tampa Bay Times. “The University of South Florida is stronger than ever.”