Executive Director of Communications
ACTIONS TAKEN: Meeting of the Select Committee on Florida Polytechnic University, Florida Board of Governors, May 23
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—May 23, 2012
“ACTIONS TAKEN”: MEETING OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON FLORIDA POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY, MAY 23
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—The Select Committee on Florida Polytechnic University held a meeting today in order to address impacts and plans for implementation of Senate Bill 1994, signed by the Governor on April 20, which immediately created Florida Polytechnic University (FPU), a new institution in the State University System.
Highlights of the meeting discussion and presentation are noted below. Presentation materials can be found on the web site via the “Committee Materials” links from the home page, www.flbog.edu. Video archives of Board meetings are posted in the same area 24-48 hours after the meeting.
Please note that there is an open and national search by the Board of Governors for applicants to FPU’s charter Board of Trustees. The deadline is May 31—for more info, please click here: http://www.flbog.edu/pressroom/news.php?id=451. Please see that release for full context.
There are two major tracks of activity related to FPU – one is the transition to close and conclude activities at the USF Polytechnic Campus, a joint-use facility agreement between USF and Polk State College; this is a significant and considerable process that will be overseen by USF. Second, the Board of Governors’ Select Committee is largely focused on the creation of FPU and how to implement the legislation related to building a new university in Lakeland on the site and land.
Most of the meeting and actions taken centered on several aspects that had timing issues needing resolution. All of the motions made and passed are collected in one section down below. Additional topics were discussed but for informational briefing purposes, as they are items that USF is working on and can complete within its existing authorities.
Chair Hosseini noted that this marks the third meeting of the Select Committee but the first meeting since Senate Bill 1994 (SB 1994 or “the legislation”) was signed by Gov. Rick Scott. The select committee’s name therefore has been changed to reflect the legislation—which became effective April 20, upon Governor’s signature.
Frank T. Brogan, Chancellor of the State University System, focused his remarks on quality, and noted that this exercise and all related planning must focus on substantive academic issues including but not limited to accreditation.
Additional overview comments and expressions of commitment to the long process ahead were provided by Brian D. Lamb, Trustee at the University of South Florida; Dr. Judy Genshaft, President, University of South Florida; and Dr. Joe Glover, Provost, University of Florida. UF is named in SB 1994 as a consulting organization for the creation of FPU.Chair Hosseini said UF will provide advice and counsel to the FPU on the creation of new STEM programs and on the accreditation process.
Overview of SB 1994 / Governance and Legal Issues
Vikki Shirley, Esq., General Counsel at the Board of Governors, reviewed the legislation’s components, as well as legal impacts for consideration.
Academic & Student Affairs
Dr. Jan Ignash, Chief Academic Officer at the Board of Governors, reviewed the components of academic affairs and student affairs for the new university. Committee member Norm Tripp asked for more detail about the USF budget regarding the academic “teach-out” for current USF students finishing degrees, and any additional legislative budget request (LBR) that may be submitted from USF for academic issues that relate to current students. Chancellor Brogan said that has been in the works for the full Board meeting in June—staff will present both the operational/academic instruction budget and the new construction aspects, and specifying recurring versus non-recurring state funds.
Finance, Facilities, Operations
Tim Jones, Chief Financial Officer at the Board of Governors, reviewed issues related to fiscal items, including contract renewals, existing leases and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs).
FPU Construction Update
Stephen J. Mitchell, Esq., a member of the Board of Trustees at USF, together with USF’s COO and Senior VP John Long briefed the committee on construction under way with the existing contractor readying and building on the land in Lakeland.
ALL MOTIONS MADE & ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE SELECT COMMITTEE (will be forwarded to the full Board of Governors):
1. REGARDING EXISTING LEASES – APPROVED – The University of South Florida, from all sources formerly available for USF Polytechnic, should continue to pay the monthly lease payments associated with all existing leases held on behalf of and for the benefit of the former USF Polytechnic*. USF will provide a full and complete list of expenditures related to these leases to the new Florida Polytechnic University Board of Trustees once it is in place in compliance with SB 1994, Section 2. *The exception to this is that USF shall give notice of non-renewal of a contract with Blue Sky West expiring July 30, 2012. If there are additional items now unidentified in this area that have a time-sensitivity this summer before a Board of Trustees is impaneled, that information can be brought to the attention of the Board of Governors before July 1 for potential feedback or action.
2. REGARDING A SPECIAL INSTITUTE – APPROVED – The University of South Florida shall continue to provide administrative support services to include payroll, accounting and any other mutually agreed upon services, to the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute (FIPR) and receive reasonable compensation (cost reimbursement) as negotiated between USF and FIPR, and until such time as the Florida Polytechnic University Board of Trustees can reasonably assume responsibility for providing those services.
3. CONSTRUCTION CONSULTANT – APPROVED – Until such time as the Florida Polytechnic University Board of Trustees can reasonably assume responsibility for oversight of the construction of the Science, Innovation, and Technology Building on the new campus, the University of South Florida shall provide oversight (including retention of the current owner’s agent for an additional six months) for the construction project from the funds appropriated for the project – except that any change orders, scheduling changes, contracts, or contract renewals or extensions shall be submitted to the State University System Chancellor for approval.
4. STUDENT FEES – APPROVED – Student fees paid by students enrolled at USF Polytechnic for activities, services, and other uses specific to that campus shall be deposited into a segregated account at USF and shall be expended for the benefit of the students who are enrolled at USF by June 1, 2012, and are subject to the teach-out requirements of USF – this relates to former USF Polytechnic students seeking to complete their degrees with USF.
5. TIMING ISSUES (relates to and applies to all motions) – APPROVED – For all motions that resulted in recommendations today to the full Board, the Board of Governors places a reasonable time limitation on USF’s responsibility and performance to continue with the actions recommended. A reasonable time period shall be three months from the time the FPU Trustees are appointed by the Board of Governors and the Governor, with the recognition that all items can be revisited, as necessary.
Chancellor Brogan said he will discuss with Chair Colson whether the full Board of Governors can arrange for a special meeting by conference call next week in order to address these approved committee actions before the regular June business meeting.
Concluding Remarks / Next Steps
Chair Hosseini reviewed the ongoing two-part task of the Select Committee: monitoring USF's teach-out in Lakeland along with overall legal transfer issues, while the Board of Governors is primarily responsible for the separate but simultaneous launch of Florida Polytechnic University. He emphasized that the Board is committed to ensuring that students who began their academic careers at USF Polytechnic are able to graduate on time. He thanked the USF Board of Trustees, President Genshaft and the USF staff. Today, the Committee adopted time-sensitive recommendations that will assist before the FPU Board of Trustees is in place. The motions and actions taken today help keep both the current transition and future considerations for the new university on track, the Chair noted.
Previous editions of “Actions Taken” are all posted on the web site under Press Room (www.flbog.edu/pressroom),
along with fact sheets and other resources.
About the State University System of Florida
The State University System of Florida is governed by a 17-member Board of Governors, a constitutional body and led by appointed public servants. The System is comprised of 12 institutions with a total enrollment of nearly 330,000 students, making it the second-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 in 2003 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’s 17 members include 14 appointed by the Governor, with three serving by virtue of their designations (a faculty member, a Florida Student Association student representative, and the Florida 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 Annual Report that reflects accountability measurements and benchmarks occurring at each institution, see www.flbog.edu.
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