Director of Communications
PRESS RELEASE: Advisory board for State Research University Institute for Online Learning begins its work
TALLAHASSEE -- With the election of a chairman and vice chairman and approval of a rigorous timeline, the new advisory board for the state's first comprehensive online learning institute has hit the ground running.
The five-member board is tasked with advising the institute housed at the University of Florida as it works to expand online baccalaureate degree offerings for the state. The institute was created during the last legislative session (CS/CS/SB 1076). The advisory board met for the first time Aug. 7 via conference call.
- John Rood, of Jacksonville, founder and chairman of the Vestcor Companies and member of the Board of Governors, was appointed to the online advisory board by Board of Governors Chairman Dean Colson. Rood was voted chair of the advisory board during its first conference call.
- Carlos Alfonso, founder of the Tampa-based Alfonso Architects, former chairman of the University of Florida Board of Trustees and member of the Florida Council of 100, was appointed to the online advisory board by House Speaker Will Weatherford. Alfonso was voted vice chair of the advisory board.
- John Watret, chancellor of Embry-Riddle Worldwide in Daytona Beach, which has been recognized as a leader in online education, was appointed by the Board of Governors.
- Ernie Friend, director of academic systems at Florida State College at Jacksonville with a 30-year career in information technology, was appointed by Senate President Don Gaetz.
- An additional member will be appointed by Gov. Rick Scott.
At its first meeting, the board appointed Nancy McKee, associate vice chancellor for academic and student affairs for the Board of Governors, as interim executive director. The University of Florida must submit a comprehensive plan for the new institute to the advisory board by Sept. 1. Following final approval by the Board of Governors, the plan must be implemented by Jan. 1.
The board plans to meet again on Aug. 23 at the University of Florida. For more information, visit www.flbog.edu/about/taskforce/uf_online_advisory.php.
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Facts about the State University System of Florida and the Board of Governors
The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors. The system has 12 universities and more than 335,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation. Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and managing the system’s coordination and operation. The Board appoints a Chancellor who serves as the system’s chief executive. For more, visit www.flbog.edu.