Executive Director of Communications
PRESS RELEASE: Florida Board of Governors Chair Appoints Richard A. "Dick" Beard, III, of Tampa to Chair Facilities Committee
Board member’s leadership regarding PECO funding, growth planning issues will be key leading up to 2012 Legislative Session
TALLAHASSEE – Board of Governors Chair Ava L. Parker has appointed Richard A. “Dick” Beard, III, to serve as chair of the Facilities Committee. The committee is one of eight standing committees of the Board of Governors. It coordinates and advocates for priorities regarding the construction funding, maintenance needs and other capital improvement issues for the 11 institutions in the State University System.
“Dick Beard has an enormous depth of experience in real estate and related industries that will provide a great expertise and value to the committee’s important work,” said Parker, an attorney in Jacksonville.
Beard, of Tampa, has 36 years of experience in real estate development and since 1995 has been the president and owner of R.A. Beard Co., a real estate investment company. He has served on the Board of Directors at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and the Florida Health Science Center at Tampa General Hospital. He is a member of the Florida Council of 100 and received his bachelor’s degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Beard also was the founding chairman of the University of South Florida’s Board of Trustees when the university boards of trustees were created. He was appointed to the Florida Board of Governors in 2010 and has been serving as a member of both the Facilities and Legislative Affairs committees. Beard also has previous service as an appointed member of the Board of Regents, the precursor organization to the Board of Governors, which was created in 2002.“I am pleased to serve in this new capacity, and I am fully cognizant that we have very real challenges with past and future building and maintenance demands across the System at the 11 universities – and that those challenges will take all of our resolve to address. In this difficult economy, this area is one of the most critical issues affecting the future success of public higher education in Florida,” Beard said.
The Facilities Committee chair vacancy was created this summer when former Board of Governors member Charlie Edwards resigned in order to accept an appointment to the University of Florida’s Board of Trustees.
At the June meeting of the Board of Governors, then-Facilities Committee Chair Edwards presented the Board with specific comments regarding Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) funds for new construction, renovations and facility deferred maintenance needs. Edwards indicated that the current scarcity of meaningful PECO funding, if it continues for several more years, not only will limit and prohibit university growth but present a very serious challenge in terms of maintaining existing facilities and the state’s investment in bricks and mortar. The System received approximately $22 million for maintenance and infrastructure for FY 2011-12 – or about half of the Board’s total request of $43 million, which was cut considerably during the legislative process from what the universities originally requested through the Board of Governors ($107 million), and is far less than the $116 million received in FY 2010-11 for maintenance and infrastructure needs alone across the State University System. One major new construction project was funded and not vetoed for FY 2011-12 from the short list of new construction requests originally reviewed and submitted to the Legislature by the Board of Governors. A similar situation in overall PECO funding has not been experienced since the 1960s, when PECO was established for higher education construction via constitutional amendment. PECO allocations are derived from a particular funding structure in the Legislature and then shared amid K-12 Department of Education needs, charter schools, the Florida College System (the 28 public state and community colleges), and the State University System (11 public universities).
The Facilities Committee’s next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 14 in Miami, with the full Board meeting on Sept. 15, also at FIU in Miami. For more, see the agenda and materials posted at www.flbog.edu.
About the State University System of Florida
The State University System is comprised of 11 institutions with a total enrollment of more than 320,000 students, making it the fourth-largest public university system in the nation in terms of enrollment (some states have more than one university system). The Florida Constitution (Article IX, Section 7) was amended by the State’s voters in 2002 to establish a statewide system of governance for all Florida public universities. As a result, the Florida Board of Governors was created to oversee the State University System of Florida. Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and ensuring the well-planned coordination and operation of the System. The Board is comprised of 17 appointed members – 14 are appointed by the Governor and three are members by virtue of their designations (a faculty member, a Florida Student Association student representative, and the Commissioner of Education). The Board of Governors appoints a Chancellor who serves as the chief executive and administrative officer of the State University System. For more, including the Board’s 2010 Annual Report that reflects accountability measurements and benchmarks occurring at each institution, see www.flbog.edu.