Executive Director of Communications
To the Governor's Desk: HB 7151 Passes with New, Important Provisions for the State University System
FOR MORE INFO:
Katherine Betta, House of Representatives, Speaker’s Office, Katherine.Betta@myfloridahouse.gov, 850-488-1450
Kelly Layman, Board of Governors, State University System of Florida, firstname.lastname@example.org, 850-245-0466
HB 7151 PASSES WITH BOARD OF GOVERNORS’ LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
CHAIR BILL PROCTOR: ‘Legislation ensures an ongoing, coordinated state effort so Floridians have access to postsecondary programs preparing them for successful careers’
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – House Bill 7151 passed the House today, had previously passed the Senate and is on its way to the Governor’s desk. The bill includes a majority of the legislative agenda set last fall by the Board of Governors and includes measures sponsored in bills filed by Rep. Bill Proctor, R-St. Augustine; Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Daytona Beach; Rep. Larry Metz, R-Eustis; and Sen. Steve Oelrich, R-Gainesville.
HB 7151 itself was sponsored by the Chair of the House Education Committee, Rep. Proctor, who highlighted the relationship between higher education and the state’s economic future.
“Florida has long been seen as a leader in higher education, and our state has benefitted from a robust array of offerings that provide a variety of postsecondary education options for students, including state universities, state colleges, career education centers, and private colleges and universities,” Proctor said. “All institutions of higher education play a critical role in having a well-educated workforce, which is essential to our state’s economic development. This legislation ensures that there is an ongoing, coordinated state effort so Floridians have continued access to postsecondary programs preparing them for successful careers.”
Frank T. Brogan, chancellor of the State University System of Florida, said the provisions in the bill were vital to the current work of the Board of Governors, which oversees the 11 universities in the State University System with more than 320,000 students enrolled.
“On behalf of the Board of Governors, we truly appreciate the support of Speaker Dean Cannon and President Mike Haridopolos – and particularly Rep. Proctor, Rep. Metz, Sen. Lynn and Sen. Oelrich in this case – in assisting and bolstering our state universities as we continue our work toward a more coordinated delivery system of higher education in Florida,” Brogan said.
HB 7151 by Rep. Proctor and HB 4177 by Rep. Metz were combined in part with other legislative provisions in Senate bills into eventual passage of HB 7151. The bill as passed proposes the following new provisions in law:
· Repeals subsection (10) of Section 1007.27, Florida Statutes, which currently prohibits universities from requiring students to attend summer term if they have earned nine or more college credits through accelerated mechanisms – such as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and other similar programs. This will assist in providing additional student access to the state universities, a continuing shared priority of the Board of Governors and universities.
· Allows universities to retain abandoned property instead of being required to auction the property. For instance, some universities plan to utilize abandoned bicycles as part of an on-campus bike-loan program to serve students.
· Addresses additional housekeeping provisions in statute that are needed as a result of the governance agreement and corresponding statutory re-write of higher education law accomplished in the 2010 Session, following the signing of the agreement between the Legislature and the Board of Governors of the State University System.
· Provides additional details and requirements regarding the work of the Higher Education Coordinating Council (www.floridahighereducation.org), which convened last fall as a result of the governance agreement signed between the Legislature and the Board of Governors in the 2010 Session. (Originating legislation is posted at the web site indicated.) The Council already was tasked to make recommendations. The Council already has the five chief executives in higher education collaborating on an extensive list of issues related to the entire higher education sector – the State University System, Florida College System, Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (non-profit institutions), and the Commission for Independent Education (for-profit colleges and universities). The Council also has two citizen co-chairs serving presently – one appointed by the Senate, one appointed by the House. New provisions:
Ø Require the Council to make recommendations about the creation of any new comprehensive undergraduate institutions, and to make any recommendations addressing the creation of higher education institutions or branch campuses.
Ø Direct the Council to make recommendations for performance outputs, and outcomes that are consistent across all five delivery sectors outlined above.
Ø Require that a study be conducted to determine appropriate scores on Advanced Placement (AP) exams for college credits, and whether the scores and credits awarded need to be standard across all programs and institutions.
Ø Require that the Council submit a report by December 31, 2011, to the Legislature, the Governor, and to the Florida Board of Governors and State Board of Education, so that the recommendations may be considered in the 2012 Session of the Legislature.
For more information about the Board of Governors and links to the institutions in the State University System of Florida, see www.flbog.edu.