Here’s what caught my eye over the weekend…

SPECIAL SECTION: The Creation of Florida Polytechnic University

Florida Governor Signs Controversial Bill to Create New Public University
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Gov. Rick Scott of Florida signed legislation on Friday afternoon to turn a branch campus of the University of South Florida into a freestanding institution that would be the state’s 12th public university, the Tampa Bay Times and the Associated Press report. In signing the bill, the Republican governor defied the wishes of the university system’s Board of Governors, which endorsed the idea of making the Lakeland campus a stand-alone university but wanted to wait until it had a minimum enrollment and was prepared to meet the requirements of its accreditor.

Florida Governor Signs Bill to Create New University
Inside Higher Ed
Governor Rick Scott, a Florida Republican, on Friday signed legislation to create Florida Polytechnic as a freestanding university, The Miami Herald reported. The campus has been a branch of the University of South Florida.

READ: Gov. Rick Scott’s FPU letter

Scott Signs Bill to Establish Florida Poly as State’s 12th University
The Ledger
The plan for the new university became law immediately, but the University of South Florida Polytechnic has 10 weeks left to live. On July 1, USF Poly will become part of USF’s Tampa- based system and be phased out over a period of about five years.

Gov. Rick Scott approves bill creating new state university
MiamiHerald.com
Florida has its 12th public university. As the state’s other universities are about to see their coffers drained by hundreds of millions of dollars, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill creating Florida Polytechnic

Scott signs off on Florida Polytechnic
News Chief
Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland will take its place as the 12th state university July 1, Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday…

Scott OK’s Fla Poly as state’s 12th university
Palm Beach Post
Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland would emerge as the state’s 12th public university, under legislation signed into law Friday night by Gov. Rick Scott. The bill (SP 1994) was shepherded through the Legislature by powerful Senate budget chief J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales. The term-limited Alexander said accelerating the independence of the University of South Florida’s Polytechnic campus would prove a key job creator in the state…

Rick Scott Signs Bill to Open Florida Polytechnic University July 1
Sunshine State News
The state’s 12th public university, Florida Polytechnic University, will take on life this summer over the objections of some legislators, students and officials in the Lakeland area.  Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 1994 on Friday, creating the independent school by splitting off the 14-year-old branch campus from the University of South Florida…

Scott approves bill creating Florida Polytechnic University
Tampabay.com
Florida has its 12th public university. As the state’s other universities are about to see their coffers drained by hundreds of millions of dollars, Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed a bill creating Florida Polytechnic. The bill had sparked an intense reaction across the state, with everyone from students, faculty, politicians and business leaders weighing in…

State University System

Task Force Backlash
WJHG-TV
About a dozen members of the Dream Defenders were at the state capitol today. With their mouths taped shut, these students from FAMU and FSU marched silently through the halls of the capitol. Their message to the governor, “give us a spot on the newly formed stand your ground task force.” The task force was formed after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman’s claims he pulled the trigger in self defense…

‘Presidential’ vs. ‘Political’ Trips: A Blurry Line, and Tricky Math
New York Times
Facing 5000 enthusiastic students at Florida Atlantic University, President Obama rolled up his sleeves and raised his voice to chastise Republicans for their spending cuts and “broken-down theories,” evoking chants of “Four more years! And that was the nonpolitical stop on Mr. Obama’s swing-state itinerary for that day early this month. The president sandwiched the 34-minute speech, billed as an official address on his so-called Buffett Rule for a minimum tax rate for the wealthiest Americans, amid three overtly partisan fund-raisers that accounted for the bulk of his time along the south Florida coast.

FAU president addresses proposed campus closings in memo
Sun-Sentinel (blog)
Florida Atlantic University’s expansive footprint through South Florida and the Treasure Coast will likely get smaller soon, and it’s understandably raising some questions and concerns. University officials announced Thursday a plan to close two of its seven campuses: downtown Fort Lauderdale and Port St. Lucie and stop funding a third, SeaTech in Dania Beach.

Budget woes at Florida Atlantic University could consolidate campuses
TCPalm
As the spring semester winds down, a cloud hangs over Florida Atlantic University. The dilemma – what combination of cuts will make up for a $24.7 million shortfall. On Thursday, the Board of Trustees got a look at what’s on the chopping block. Shutting down the Treasure Coast Campus could save the school $1.7 million. Moving the downtown Fort Lauderdale campus to Boca Raton could save $2 million. Limiting summer courses could save $500,000…

Big colleges, swing states: Obama makes his pitch
San Francisco Chronicle
Obama’s 2012 college campus tour has already included stops at the University of Michigan, the University of Miami, Ohio State University and Florida Atlantic University. Obama has also traveled to community colleges in New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia this year. In another shot at wooing younger voters, Obama will also appear on NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” show, to be taped while Obama is North Carolina. Obama’s trip runs Tuesday and Wednesday.

Baby Gator expands to meet growing demand
Gainesville Sun
Facing a waiting list hundreds of parents long, the University of Florida’s Baby Gator child care center is planning new facilities along with a summer program in which some children split time between campus apartments and field trips 

GatorCare swamped by governor
The Florida Current
Rick Scott on late Friday nixed a bill that would have allowed the University of Florida to move its employees out of the state group health insurance plan and develop its own self insured plan called GatorCare. Scott’s Friday veto letter commends the 

USF puts damper on smoking
Tbo.com
New limits on smoking are definitely clearing the air at the University of South Florida. But some students who smoke say the new policy has created an “us vs. them” mentality, especially with nonsmokers who push smokers toward designated spots with the tact of a drill sergeant…

USF blooms as a tree-friendly college campus
Tbo.com
In its 56-year history, the University of South Florida has earned a reputation as one of the top tree-friendly college campuses in the state. Today, there are 300 new reasons why it deserves such recognition. About 80 USF students, professors and staff members fanned out Friday morning across campus to plant 250 live oaks and 50 cypress trees at eight locations…

State College System

Another South Florida venue. Another Biden visit.
MiamiHerald.com (blog)
Joe Biden’s coming to the Everglades on Monday to talk so-called “restoration” plans (aka examples of government spending). Next month, the vice president’s wife, Jill Biden, comes to another South Florida locale, Broward College, to deliver the commencement address.

Edison State College ups recruitment
The News-Press
In the past, Edison State College didn’t have to try very hard to recruit students. They just came…

IRSC might help fill void if FAU closes Port St. Lucie campus this summer
TCPalm
If Florida Atlantic University closes its Port St. Lucie campus this summer, Treasure Coast students might not lose out on baccalaureate degree programs. Indian River State College, which shares the Treasure Coast campus with FAU, is talking with FAU about potentially offering more programs and possibly filling the void if FAU vacates the campus buildings, said IRSC President Edwin Massey.

Driver looses control of her SUV last night
WPTV
Late Friday night, an unidentified woman accidently drove into a lake along College Lane on the Vero Beach campus of Indian River State College

Independent College and University System

Public hearing Monday on Flagler classroom building
Historic City News
Although former commissioner and mayor Len Weeks sent his approval of the demolition and new design for the Flagler College media building, others have sent their objections to Ordinance No. 2012-07 being heard by the commission Monday evening.

JU to offer master’s of fine arts to visual artists
Florida Times-Union
Jacksonville University is creating a “low-residency” Master of Fine Arts in visual arts. Participants in the program, which starts in the summer of 2013, will take a six-week summer course, have a one-week residency to work with undergraduate students in art, and take two semesters of off-campus instruction. Students will graduate with a degree that qualifies them to teach at the college level.

Stetson gets $5.5M for business, health care scholarships
Daytona Beach News-Journal
Stetson University in DeLand has received $5.5 million in estate gifts to fund scholarships for students majoring in business or preparing for careers in health care. The gifts come from the estates of C. Emory and Jeanne Smith, longtime friends of the university who lived in Orlando. Although the Smiths did not attend Stetson, their niece, Norma Jean Prevatt, was a student at the university for a time in the 1950s. C. Emory Smith was originally from Seville and Jeanne Smith was from the Holopaw/St. Cloud area…

Yip Yap: Noted and Quoted FLHE Voices from Around the State

Editorial: Florida must reverse disinvestment trend in higher education
Bradenton Herald
Tallahassee’s policies on higher education make a mockery of Florida’s commitment to economic competitiveness, business development and job creation. The state’s university and college systems continue to come under fiscal attack from the Legislature despite rising fears that the business community will not be able to find enough qualified graduates to fill critical job openings that require postsecondary degrees…

Editorial: Florida Polytechnic University: Time to Take Action
The Ledger
Gov. Rick Scott established Florida Polytechnic University on Friday by signing Senate Bill 1994. The law, which took effect immediately, created Florida Polytechnic in Lakeland out of the University of South Florida Polytechnic, but also requires USF Poly to continue operation until June 30…

Editorial: Giant tuition hike for students isn’t the answer
Tampabay.com
Florida’s retreat on investing in public higher education is now crystal clear: For the first time, students at the University of South Florida and other public universities are expected to pay more than half the cost of their education due to …

Bell: Time to Get Past Hard Feelings Related to Florida Polytechnic
The Ledger
A campaign to make the University of South Florida Polytechnic an independent university began last June, and hurtled through the state in a hotly contested, often viral debate. Sen. JD Alexander, the Lake Wales Republican who pushed hard for the plan, …

DiSalvo: How Governor Rick Scott is Sabotaging Florida’s Universities
Forbes
Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the 2012 state budget at aJacksonville elementary school, presumably to emphasize the budget’s inclusion of an additional $1 billion for education. That would be impressive, if not for the fact that last year he cut the state’s education budget by $1.3 billion. That’s like burning down someone’s house, replacing it with the wooden frame of a house and calling it progress…

Henderson: Bully Alexander gets his way on university
Tbo.com
Bully 1, Common Sense 0. Actually, it wasn’t as close as the score indicated. State Sen. JD Alexander got what he wanted while everyone else, especially the students of what we’ll have to start calling Florida Polytechnic, got mugged…

McLaren: The most special need is simply acceptance
Florida Times-Union
The program offers those with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to attend the University of North Florida and experience the true college lifestyle. As students, these individuals have the option to audit two classes a semester and besides …

Reed: Checking the politics, paper trail behind new BCC building
Florida Today
Last-minute wheeling and dealing in Tallahassee worked to Brevard County’s favor this year. It produced $14 million from the Legislature for Brevard Community College to buy land and build a training center for police and firefighting students in Viera…

Salzberg: University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department, Increases Athletic Budgets. Hmm.
Forbes
Wow, no one saw this coming.  The University of Florida announced this past week that it was dropping its computer science department, which will allow it to save about $1.7 million.  The school is eliminating all funding for teaching assistants in computer science, cutting the graduate and research programs entirely, and moving the tattered remnants into other departments…

Schueller: UF getting rid of ‘excess’ faculty
Gainesville Sun
A few years ago, under the pretext of financial exigency, University of Florida administrators tried to fire a few select faculty, many of them tenure track. The administration arbitrarily picked 11 or so faculty specializing 


Accolades abound at banquet for retiring B-CU president
Daytona Beach News-Journal
A “visionary and courageous” president who “raised the bar of excellence” and elevated Bethune-Cookman University‘s status nationally. Those are just a few of the praises Trudie Kibbe Reed received Thursday night at a retirement celebration honoring 

Experts see few barriers to stop people from buying health-care coverage only 
Palm Beach Post
Marlene Mahle teaches a graduate course at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton on the federal health care law under review by the Supreme Court. She does not have to look very far to gain insight into why people might decide not to buy health insurance. Take her own 29-year-old son…

Want to save on your wedding? Don’t have it on Saturday
Sun-Sentinel
After facing the sticker shock, families need to figure how much each family member can afford — the groom and his parents may want to contribute beyond the usual rehearsal dinner, said Florida Atlantic University economist William B. Stronge, who took out a home equity loan to help pay for his daughter’s wedding…

Fla. unemployment rate drops to 9 percent
Naples Daily News
“It’s a reflection that we had a really good season, compared to the previous year,” said Gary Jackson, an economics professor at Florida Gulf Coast University. “Tourism is very strong in Collier and Lee County.”

Professor built business legacy at Florida Tech
Florida Today
Roger Manley has more than three decades of instruction material and experience at Florida Institute of Technology’s School of Business…

Southwest Florida car dealership capitalizes on marketing strategy, professor says
Naples Daily News
Christine Wright-Isak, an associate marketing professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, has heard the same complainants from some of her students. “I told them, ‘Yeah, we’re all annoyed, but we all know the name Fuccillo,’ ” said Wright-Isak

Florida watches as Supreme Court set to hear state of Arizona argue immigration law
Palm Beach Post
“The stakes are high,” said Florida International University law professor and constitutional expert Elizabeth Price Foley. Not only is legal precedent in play, but interaction between police and minorities on U.S. streets – in particular Latinos – also could be affected…

FIU VP named chancellor of UMass Dartmouth
MiamiHerald.com
Divina GrossmanFlorida International University’s founding vice president for engagement, will be the new chancellor of UMass Dartmouth. The University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees unanimously elected Grossman to the position on 

At Florida International University, GOP hotshot Sen. Marco Rubio is Professor 
Tampabay.com
…These days, the guy at the front of the classroom is getting the double takes. At Florida International University in Miami, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is professor Rubio. He teaches political science on Mondays and Fridays, when the Senate is typically off (a workload that provides its own instruction on how Washington operates)…

D’Alemberte maintaining high legal profile in Fla.
MiamiHerald.com
When Gov. Rick Scott and his predecessor, Charlie Crist, overstepped their legal authority, both ran into the same obstacle – Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte. The 78-year-old Florida State University president emeritus and former American Bar Association president won state Supreme Court rulings that stopped both governors in their tracks. Crist tried to circumvent the judicial nominating process for…

FSU history-makers share their stories
WTXL ABC 27
Florida State University is celebrating fifty years of integration with a three-day-celebration…Fred Flowers was the first black student to wear an athletic uniform. His sister, Doby Flowers, was the first black Homecoming Queen. Fred Flowers will be recognized on April 20, at 6 p.m. at the Florida State-University of Miami baseball game, where he will throw out the first pitch…

Businesses Charge Hundreds To Remove Mug Shots Online
ABC News
Wayne LoganFlorida State University College of Law’s Gary and Sallyn Pajcic Professor of Law, said there is nothing new about distributing arrest records, which was done through posters from at least the mid-19th century in “rogue’s galleries” or the

Judge lets White attend daughter’s FSU graduation
Tbo.com
A judge has granted former Hillsborough County commissioner Kevin White permission to attend his daughter’s graduation from Florida State University while he awaits imprisonment for his federal public corruption …

Temple invites disabled guest for Holocaust Remembrance
Sun-Sentinel
Temple Beth El of Boca Raton invited an unusual guest of honor to its Holocaust Remembrance Day commemoration next week: Energy Maburutse, a disabled Lynn University student from Zimbabwe…

Grad student’s swordfish study is a first
MiamiHerald.com
A Nova Southeastern University graduate student is working on the first scientific study of the movements and survival of juvenile swordfish caught and released in their Florida Straits nursery. Jenny Fenton said it’s too early to draw 

People on the move
Sun-Sentinel
Nova Southeastern University’s College of Pharmacy appointed Nile M. Khanfar as assistant dean for NSU’s College of Pharmacy at the Palm Beach Gardens Student Educational Center…

Man who stabbed NSU professor and set house on fire with family inside faces 
MiamiHerald.com
Jurors this week will hear from the prosecution’s star witness: Randy H. Tundidor, 23, who pleaded guilty to reduced charges of second-degree murder in August, and testified that he watched, drug addled, as his father, Randy W. Tundidor, 45, repeatedly stabbed his landlord, Joseph Morrissey, in the stomach and back, then slashed his throat…

Sea turtles, whales deter oil surveys
Florida Today
“Their auditory sense is — as it should be — adapted to vibrations in the water,” said [Llew] Ehrhart, professor emeritus at the University of Central Florida

Risk vs. freedom: Older-driver debate leaves difficult choices
Daytona Beach News-Journal
When it comes to our cognitive abilities and reflexes, humans reach their peak early in life, said Janan Smither, a professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida who specializes in aging…

Florida, Palm Beach County unemployment rates fall, but job creation minimal 
Palm Beach Post
University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith conceded that the state is making progress but said the decline is exaggerated because of people who have given up looking for jobs…

Professor Encourages People to Become More Aware
The Ledger
Paul Doering, professor emeritus at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, speaks about the dangers of underage drinking at a community forum Thursday at Legoland Florida in Winter Haven…

Tourism in Southwest Florida: Industry focuses on sustainability
The News-Press
However, there’s almost no hard data to support that premise, said Taylor Stein, a University of Florida associate professor who recently co-wrote a study of nature-based tour operators in Costa Rica…

Hydrogen could boost gas mileage in cars; UNF prof skeptical
Florida Times-Union
Joe Campbell, a retired University of North Florida mechanical engineering professor who still conducts research, said hydrogen-assisted fuel efficiency systems have been studied for years. He said while the chemistry may sound sophisticated, it is barely more complicated than a high school science class experiment. “What this technology does is take distilled water, put some chemical in it, in this particular case potassium hydroxide and it performs electrolysis on the solution,” Campbell said. “You get hydrogen and oxygen produced, but we all did this in chemistry class when we were in high school.”…

First Coast unemployment rate falls
Florida Times-Union (blog)
University of North Florida economist Paul Mason said the unemployment rate in Duval, Clay, Nassau, St. Johns and Baker counties fell from 8.67 percent in February to 8.4 percent in March. The national rate is 8.3 percent…

City Field Representative Notes Concrete Concerns at New Courthouse
First Coast News
Dr. Adel ElSafty is a professor at the University of North Florida, and a licensed structural engineer. He has, “three professional engineering licenses,” he said. “The initial look at this report, with these pictures of course it is alarming to the general public or alarming to any engineer who is looking at it,” ElSafty said…

So, you think this is all the sun protection you need?
Tampabay.com
Still, strategic sun avoidance should be your first line of defense, says Dr. Neil Fenske, professor and chairman of the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the University of South Florida

Ecological answers in BP spill remain beneath the surface
Houston Chronicle
Steve Murawski, an oceanographer at the University of South Florida who previously served as the chief fisheries scientist at NOAA, said the research also shows the presence of oil in the bile from fish caught in August 2011, a year after the spill …

Who is left behind in Exceptional Student Education inclusion?
Pensacola News Journal
There are benefits of inclusion for students with and without disabilities, said Christine Ogilvie, who teaches in the professional studies department at the University of West Florida. It exposes children without disabilities to diversity, …

Releases and Web Stories

Dr. Jill Biden to Deliver 2012 Commencement Addresses
Whitehouse.gov (press release)
Dr. Jill Biden will deliver two commencement addresses this spring at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and at Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa. On Friday, May 4, Dr. Biden will address the 77th graduating class at Broward 

Flagler College’s Hotel Ponce de Leon included in ‘Florida Architecture: 100 
ReadMedia (press release)
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL (04/20/2012)(readMedia)– The former Hotel Ponce de Leon – the centerpiece of Flagler College in St. Augustine and a National Historic Landmark – won the write-in vote to be included in the Florida Chapter of the American Institute of Architects’ “Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places” competition…

Kovens Conference Center Hosts the 2012 International Independent Filmmaker Expo
EIN News (press release)
/EINPresswire.com/Miami, Florida — April 19, 2012 — Located at Florida International University‘s Biscayne Bay campus, the award-winning Kovens Conference Center is the hallmark site for the 2012 International Independent Filmmaker Expo, the premier event for those who share the passion of filmmaking in South Florida and around the world. The day of the event is Saturday, April 21 and it showcases Howard Rosenman, Academy Award(R) winning Screenwriter-Producer as The Film Expo’s Key Note Speaker…

Here’s what caught my eye today…

State University System

Two FAMU anti-hazing panel members resign, lash trustees in sign-offs
MiamiHerald.com (blog)
The drama at Florida A&M months after a drum major’s hazing death continues. The latest: Two experts whom FAMU trustees recruited to research and recommend anti-hazing practices have left the seven-member committee — just as they warned. Former U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Craig Robinson and clinical psychologist Na’im Akbar resigned from the panel last week in pointed letters that defend their request to operate in private.

FAMU Clothesline Project Calling Attention to Sexual Assault Awareness Month
WCTV
Here at FAMU, that federal report is the Clery Report which shows sexual assault is down from 2008 to 2010. But no matter what the number, students and staff say one rape is one too many. To show their support they have events scheduled all week to support Sexual Assault Awareness Month…

Obama, college republicans, the nanny and more
Crowley Political Report
Let’s hear it for the College Republicans of Florida Atlantic University who plan to wave signs during President Obama’s visit to the campus Tuesday. In an email encouraging folks to join them at the protest site – Lot 17 at noon – folks are asked: 

Obama to fundraise in South Florida on Tuesday
MiamiHerald.com
The president will make a speech at Florida Atlantic University, then raise money for his reelection campaign in as many as three events…

Obama visit will raise FAU’s profile beyond South Florida
Sun-Sentinel
It’s a school that often struggles to be noticed outside of South Florida. But on Tuesday, Florida Atlantic University will get an unexpected boost from the nation’s top leader. When President Obama gives a nationally televised speech on tax policy at the FAU Arena at 2:55 p.m., about 50 cheering students dressed in FAU shirts will be behind him. And thousands more will be in the audience…

Obama coming to Florida to talk about ‘Buffett Rule’
Tampabay.com
President Barack Obama’s speech Tuesday afternoon at Florida Atlantic University will press the case for the “Buffett Rule,” a proposal that would require the wealthy to pay at least 30 percent of their 

FAU prepares for President Obama visit
WPBF West Palm Beach
President Barack Obama will visit Florida Atlantic University and attend a luncheon in Palm Beach Gardens on Tuesday. Officials at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton are busy getting ready for a presidential visit. President Barack Obama is …

President Obama to speak on economy at Florida Atlantic University
WPTV
It didn’t cost her anything, but for FAU employee Brittany Ross, the ticket to President Obama’s speech at Florida Atlantic University Tuesday, is priceless. “I have it and will guard it with my life,” says Ross. She is one of 3500 students, …

Will presidential visit snarl traffic?
WPTV
President Barack Obama visits Florida Atlantic University Tuesday to give a speech. YouReporter Linda took a photo at the Belvedere Shell station Monday afternoon of what appeared to be some of the limos that will be used to transport the president and

Florida: Pro-Palestinian group ‘evicts’ Jewish students
Ynetnews
More than 200 Jewish students attending Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, were surprised to find “eviction notices” posted to their dorm room doors on Friday. The students later found out that the fake notices were placed by the Students for Justice in Palestine…

Ninjas looking for fame invade FIU
MiamiHerald.com
Students at Florida International University’s Modesto Maidique campus pulled a couple of all-nighters last week watching aspiring ninjas complete an obstacle course. That’s right — aspiring ninjas. Hundreds of them were on campus March 27-28 as part of the G4 show American Ninja Warrior. By the last day of filming, 30 competitors from the Southeast and Northeast regions of the United States were left to tackle an intense, nine-part obstacle course…

New report ranks Florida high in number of graduating Hispanics
WTXL ABC 27
Florida International University ranks #1 in the nation for the amount of bachelor and master degrees it awards Hispanics. FIU also ranks 10th for professional degrees and 19th in doctoral degrees awarded to Latinos during the 2009-10 school year…

Some surprises among county’s list of most dangerous intersections
Gainesville Sun
 period show that such intersections as Northwest 34th Street and Northwest 39th Avenue in northern Gainesville and West University Avenue and Northwest 22nd Street near the University of Florida campus are among the 10 most hazardous in the county.

UCF joins better connectivity movement
Bizjournals.com (blog)
An agenda item from the university’s finance and facilities committee shows it is entering a contract with AT&T whereas the cellular provider will fund, install and manage a new antenna system on campus. The three-year project consists of installing a new antenna system that will service 28 UCF and Central Florida Research Park buildings, the UCF basketball arena and the Bright House Networks Stadium…

UNF students earn top honors
Florida Times-Union (blog)
Students in the School of Computing at the University of North Florida recently brought home several awards in the 17th Annual Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) National Collegiate Conference held in San Antonio, Texas.

Contested student housing plans go forward
Pensacola News Journal
A controversial plan to construct two student housing complexes in a neighborhood near the University of West Florida passed its first test Monday.

State College System

Fund established for Edison student killed in crash
Naples Daily News
A fund has been established to help the family of Jaime Lee DeSprito, an Edison State College student who died Saturday in an early morning car crash. DeSprito, 19, of Fort Myers, died on the scene of the accident, in which she missed a stop sign at 

District struggles to fulfill vow to future teachers
Tbo.com
To date, the district has raised about $18000 for those students — all enrolled in the Urban Teaching Academy — with a matching amount from Hillsborough Community College. That low combined total has some people wondering if there will be enough 

IRSC Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship grand opening is Wednesday in 
TCPalm
Indian River State College‘s Brown Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship includes a removable house, solar farm and nuclear flow loop simulator — minus the nuclear materials. The public is invited to a grand opening event for the $21.5 million, 65,000-square-foot building at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the IRSC main campus on Virginia Avenue and 35th Street…

Independent College System

Man carjacked, locked in trunk
Daytona Beach News-Journal
A Bethune Cookman University student trying to help a person who claimed his car was broken down was carjacked at gun point and locked in the trunk of his own car, Daytona Beach police said Monday. Jonathan Pigford, 21, of Virginia, was forced into the trunk of his car after musical instruments belonging to the university were thrown out, a Daytona Beach police report said.

Florida Hospital to expand College of Health campus and programs
Orlando Sentinel
Citing a need to educate more health professionals for the future, Florida Hospital officials today announced plans for a $25 million expansion of its College of Health Sciences on the main Orlando campus near downtown. A ceremonial groundbreaking will take place this morning…

Obama in Florida
Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)
The last time the President was in Florida, he delivered a scorching attack on Republicans in a speech at the University of Miami over the issue of high energy prices – so we’ll see if this speech at Florida Atlantic University registers some more 

For Profit and Career Colleges

For-Profit Colleges: Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old
Huffington Post
…If you know that Full Sail is a very expensive school of, at best, a mixed quality, then you might be concerned about why the University of Florida would lend its prestige to its for-profit neighbor. Such worries would be magnified by the news, announced in late March, that UF was naming its new undergraduate business school after major donor Bill Heavener, the CEO of, yes, Full Sail University. If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because Full Sail is the same school praised late last year by Mitt Romney as the future of higher education – while Heavener and other Full Sail executives have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Romney campaign and Super PAC. Heavener apparently likes it when he can get something for his money…

Yip Yap: Noted and Quoted FLHE Voices from Around the State

Scott should veto polytechnic
News Chief
When state Sen. J.D. Alexander of Lake Wales undertakes a quest, controversy is his common companion. That was the case when Alexander, the powerful chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, pushed through a bill declaring the University of South Florida‘s Polk County polytechnic campus an independent university…

John Romano: Consider the students before deciding on independence for USF Poly
Tampabay.com
That means the budget concerns of University of South Florida leaders are close to being put to rest. And that means legislators are all sleeping soundly. But has anyone stopped to ask what that means for USF Poly students? “I haven’t found anyone on 


Miami Marlins’ Ozzie Guillen in political firestorm over Fidel Castro remarks
Bradenton Herald
Uva de Aragon, associate director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, agreed that Guillen’s remarks were insensitive, but added that many people have fueled the controversy to suit their own motives.

Vern Buchanan says Obama will no longer “enforce” DOMA
PolitiFact
DOMA raises the unanswered question of whether Obama and his administration have the legal right to choose which of Congress’ laws they defend and which ones they don’t — a question before the U.S. Supreme Court in a separate case, said Bob Jarvis, a constitutional law professor at Nova Southeastern University

Conference Focuses On STEM Education in Florida Universities
The Ledger
According to Polk State College President Eileen Holden, it’s important to start exposing students to STEM activities and learning at an early age. “You don’t wake up a senior in high school and say ‘I’m going to major in STEM in college,’ ” she said…

Stetson official to speak at PR luncheon
Daytona Beach News-Journal
Greg Caroll, vice president of marketing at Stetson University in DeLand, is the guest speaker at today’s luncheon meeting of the Volusia-Flagler Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association…

Grand jury canceled in Florida teen’s death
Los Angeles Times
Grand juries are sometimes used as a way for prosecutors in high-profile cases to avoid “political fallout” by shifting responsibility, said Charles Rose, a Stetson University College of Law professor and director of Stetson’s Center for Excellence in Advocacy…

Creative marketing ideas help students, needy critters
Gainesville Sun
University of Florida marketing professor Stephen LaBarbera is fond of saying that there’s nothing harder than asking someone for money…

Trayvon Martin case: Special prosecutor will skip the grand jury
Los Angeles Times
“Whatever she decided, it is going to be controversial,” University of Florida law professor Kenneth B. Nunn told The Times…

Of lice and men
St. Augustine Record
David Reed, Ph.D., associate curator of mammals at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus, is an evolutionary biologist who studies host/parasite evolution.

Autism linked to obesity in pregnancy
Science News
The new research “sheds light on potential risk factors for autism and underscores the importance for people who are pregnant — or trying to get pregnant — of controlling their risks,” says epidemiologist Hannah Gardener of the University of Miami.

Fla. prosecutor eschews grand jury, will weigh charges in teen’s slaying
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Ms. Corey has filed more charges, taken many more cases to trial and won more convictions than her predecessor, according to Michael Hallett, chairman of the University of North Florida‘s criminology department, who recently published a study of her record. She is less likely to dismiss charges and is particularly tough on repeat offenders, he found…

In foreclosures, Occupy groups see a unifying cause
Baltimore Sun
“The Occupy movement seems to have lost some of its punch,” said Susan MacManus, a University of South Florida political science professor. “Focusing on an issue that affects the working class and leaves people feeling alienated is potentially a good 

Releases and Web Stories

Flagler professor, veteran journalist and Forum founder Ostrowidzki dies
ReadMedia (press release)
AUGUSTINE, FL (04/09/2012)(readMedia)– Victor Ostrowidzki, Flagler College’s director of the Forum on Government and Public Policy and a longtime professor at the college, died on Saturday after battling melanoma. Ostrowidzki, 80, was a veteran 

(BPRW) Florida Memorial University President to Join Miami-Dade 
Black PR Wire
(April 9, 2012) – Florida Memorial University President Dr. Henry Lewis, III, was unanimously accepted to the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce (M-DCC) Board 

Serving Our Community
University of South Florida
(April 9, 2012) – The Corporation for National and Community Service and the US Department of Education has named the University of South Florida to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, which recognizes higher education 

Here’s what caught my eye over the weekend…

State University System

Florida colleges fear boost in high-tech cheating
Sun-Sentinel
Florida’s colleges are on high alert in the battle against what they fear is a growing number of tech-savvy cheaters. Smartphones and social networking have made cheating easier and more widespread than ever, some say. And experts add that if schools don’t crack down on the dishonesty now, there could be long-term consequences for society…

FAMU passes stricter hazing rules — lack of charges frustrates Champion’s mom
Orlando Sentinel
Trustees at Florida A&M University on Thursday adopted a new rule requiring virtually all who have a relationship with the school — students, employees, volunteers and even vendors — to report any hazing activity they learn about to campus police within 24 hours. Meanwhile, the mother of FAMU drum major Robert Champion, who died after a hazing in Orlando in November, expressed frustration that no one has been charged…

No general public at Obama’s FAU speech
Palm Beach Post
President Obama‘s speech at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton on Tuesday will be closed to the general public, with tickets available only to the school’s students, staff and faculty via an online lottery, the White House said today…

FAU quickly plans for Obama’s visit
Sun-Sentinel
Florida Atlantic University is hurriedly planning one of its biggest events ever: a visit Tuesday from President Barack Obama. The president is scheduled to speak at 2:55 pm in FAU Arena. He’ll make the case for the “Buffett Rule” a tax proposal the 

Obama, Democrats to promote ‘Buffett rule’
USA TODAY
Obama will make the proposed Buffett Rule a central part of a speech Tuesday at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, said a White House announcement. The proposal is “a simple principle for fairness that ensures that millionaires pay at least the 

Business Plan Challenge semifinalists named
MiamiHerald.com
They had their work cut out for them: More than 200 teams entered our 14th annual entrepreneurship contest, sponsored by Florida International University’s Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center.

Lawmakers urge Scott to invest in pre-eminent universities
Tallahassee.com
It may be a tough choice, but Leon County legislators want Gov. Rick Scott to sign a bill letting Florida State and the University of Florida charge higher tuition as the state’s pre-eminent universities…

UF shows off its small satellite
Gainesville Sun
University of Florida researchers have developed a satellite about the size of a take-out carton of Chinese food, with similar advantages in being able to be delivered cheaply and quickly. UF officials, faculty and students on Friday showed off the satellite, nicknamed SwampSAT, to Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll. UF mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Norman Fitz-Coy, director of the center that developed SwampSAT, said it has advantages over traditional satellites that can be as large as a bus.

Florida Polytechnic Bill Sent to Governor for Consideration
The Ledger
The state Senate bill creating an independent polytechnic university in Lakeland arrived on the desk of Gov. Rick Scott today. The governor has 15 days in which to consider whether to sign Senate Bill 1994 into law or to veto it. The deadline date for a decision is April 21. If he doesn’t sign it but doesn’t veto it, it becomes law without his signature…

State College System

Daytona State College board declines to support off-campus housing project
Daytona Beach News-Journal
The board has not ruled out considering some type of nursing bachelor degree but wants to get input from administrators at the University of Central Florida. The board doesn’t want to compete with UCF or Bethune-Cookman University, board members said.

Edison State College builds pool of presidential applicants
The News-Press
As of Friday, Edison State College had processed 17 applications from people wanting to be president. They are: Resumes are trickling into Edison State from 

Walton welcome center has preservationists up in arms
The Northwest Florida Daily News
The property in question along US 331 is now the site of the Coastal Branch Library, the Walton County Courthouse Annex and the South Walton Campus of Northwest Florida State College.

School Notes
The Ledger
Polk State College celebrated its first LEED-certified building, the Lakeland Student Center, with a plaque presentation during a meeting of the District 

Independent College and University System

Embry-Riddle offering summer camps
Daytona Beach News-Journal
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is offering a host of hands-on aviation and aerospace summer camps for children…

JU receives $100000 challenge grant at boardwalk dedication
Business Journal
On a day that Jacksonville University planned to dedicate a nature preserve and boardwalk, the university received bigger news. WC Gentry, a Jacksonville attorney, Duval County School Board chairman and JU donor, issued a $100000 challenge grant to 

Gentry issues $100000 challenge grant for JU Marine Science Research Insitute
Florida Times-Union (blog)
Duval County School Board member WC Gentry announced a $100000 challenge grant Friday, which when paired with $100000 in matching donations will pay for a new dock critical to the research mission of Jacksonville University’s Marine Science Research …

Jacksonville University leaders hope program will shape public policy
Florida Times-Union
Leaders at Jacksonville University hope their students and professors soon will shape the way government works, pushing the Arlington campus’ influence far outside its physical boundaries. The university announced last fall the 

Police-involved shooting near Jacksonville University
Florida Times-Union
There’s been an officer-involved shooting at a Jacksonville apartment complex at University Boulevard North and Fort Caroline Road. The Sheriff’s Office homicide unit and rescue crews were called about 3:30 pm to the Casa del Rio St.

Dozens participate in run for slain University of Tampa student
Tbo.com
Dozens of athletes took part in run for Ryan McCall, a University of Tampa senior who was killed in 2009. Portions of proceeds raised from the run will be used to fund a scholarship to a student from Hillsborough County High School who 

Occupy Tampa marks six-month anniversary with march, new ideas
Tampabay.com
The tour of Tampa’s financial district didn’t meet opposition until the 15 or so remaining marchers turned onto the University of Tampa campus and walked through a building. Three security guards in golf carts followed the marchers until they left 

For-Profit and Career Colleges

Videos, student work featured in Full Sail University’s app
Orlando Sentinel
Full Sail University launched a new app that offers mobile-device users a range of content like graduate stories, videos, access to their blog, a showcase of student work, and dozens of photos in a collection of galleries…

Yip Yap: Noted and Quoted FLHE Voices from Around the State

Rick Scott should turn back assault on universities
Orlando Sentinel
This year Florida lawmakers launched what former Gov. Bob Graham aptly described as “a political assault on higher education.” How rough was it?

Thumb up: Florida State University marks 50th anniversary of the school’s 
TCPalm
BLACK AND WHITE HISTORY: Fifty years ago this year, Maxwell Courtney of Tallahassee became the first black student to attend Florida State University. In 1965, he became the first black graduate, earning a degree in mathematics with minors in French and English. From April 19 to 21, FSU will be celebrating Courtney and others who played a role in the successful racial integration of the university without violence or federal intervention…


Young man with autism appeals to Obama
Fox News
At 18 months old, Billy Pagoni was diagnosed with severe autism. The disorder was so disabling, he had trouble speaking. Today, he’s 20 years old, about to graduate from high school in Naples, Fla., and wants more than anything to go to college. But, so far, every school he and his mother have contacted have told them there is no program available for his specialized needs. With seemingly no opportunities available for him, Billy has made a public plea to President Obama to help him enroll into a college or university and continue his education.

Demoted deputy back to work after college cheating suspension
Daytona Beach News-Journal
A Volusia County sheriff’s lieutenant demoted for cheating to get his degree from Daytona State College is back on the job after serving a 10-day suspension. Brodie Hughes, 37, who cheated to get his bachelor’s 

Nevada State College identifies 10 in running for president’s job
Las Vegas Review – Journal
Donna Price Henry, dean and professor of biology, College of Arts and Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Fla.

Crimes come back to haunt young offenders in Florida
Palm Beach Post
For Veronica Limia, the first arrest came when she was 12 years old. At 17, Limia found herself being charged as an adult with two felonies for burglary and grand larceny. More than a decade later, the 29-year-old Limia has gone on to earn a college degree and recently graduated from [FIU] law school. But the former West Palm Beach resident, who now lives in Miami, said she still lives daily with the consequences of her checkered past…

Isiah Thomas Fired: Florida International Fires Basketball Coach After 3 Seasons
Huffington Post
Isiah Thomas arrived at Florida International knowing that he was taking a risk. Three years later, the school didn’t see enough reward. The Basketball Hall of Fame player was fired Friday by FIU, after his teams went 26-65 in his three seasons. His hiring came out of nowhere in 2009 – “No one thought we could pull this off,” FIU director of sports and entertainment Pete Garcia proudly said at the time – and in the end, so did his firing…

Should Florida change its self-defense law?
Daytona Beach News-Journal
Noted Florida State University Professor Gary Kleck‘s research determined that over 2.5 million times per year, Americans use a gun to defend themselves and their families.

How the NRA attained dominance in the ‘Gunshine State’
Palm Beach Post
According to a study by Florida State University criminology professor Gary Kleck, “the strongest and most consistent predictors of gun ownership are hunting, being male, being older, higher income, residence in rural areas or small towns, having been reared in such small places, having been reared in the South, and being Protestant.”

Politics, fear cause spike in state’s concealed weapons permits
Sun-Sentinel
Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University in Tallahassee who has written extensively about gun issues, said people’s fear of crime can spur them to seek concealed protection. “That’s their response to concerns about crime, unfounded though they may be,” he said. Crime rates, Kleck said, are flat, but increased media coverage of crime may be creating scary scenarios in people’s minds…

Illegal status foils law school graduates in Florida
Palm Beach Post
Jose Godinez-Samperio is a former Eagle Scout who graduated at the top of his class at Florida State University’s College of Law and passed the Bar on his first try. But he may never practice law. Godinez-Samperio is an illegal immigrant, brought to this country when he was 9. The Florida Board of Bar Examiners denied Godinez-Samperio entry into the state Bar because of his legal status. Instead, it is asking the state Supreme Court whether undocumented immigrants can be licensed as lawyers.

Around the Blawgosphere: SCOTUSblog’s Tom Goldstein a Guest on ‘The Daily Show
ABA Journal
Nova Southeastern University School of Law professor James B. Levy is rooting for a young lawyer who started blogging as “hangshingles” at I Just Want to Practice Law … a few weeks ago. “He’s got $130K in educational debt and $3,500 in savings,” Levy wrote at Legal Skills Prof Blog, referencing hangshingles’ first post,Starting numbers (Day 5). “Can he make it?” Levy writes that he plans to continue checking out the blog to see.

Orlando’s Rep. Adams fears Obama power grab
Orlando Sentinel
Dropping a bill that feeds into the “existing narrative that he [Obama] is trying to expand government and take away people’s rights” is one way to do that, said Aubrey Jewett, a political scientist from the University of Central Florida.

NASA races to find tenants for vacant shuttle facilities
Orlando Sentinel
“The prolonged uncertainty didn’t help,” said Dale Ketcham, director of the University of Central Florida’s Spaceport Research and Technology Institute…

Who’s at the top of the economic charts?
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
“The recovery in general has been spotty,” said University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith. “Nationally, it’s been in fits and stops.” Last year at this time, the recovery appeared young, and tepid, for businesses in the two counties…

Are You Afraid Of 50 Foot Snakes?
Global Animal
“What we found was a giant world of lost reptiles – turtles the size of a kitchen table and the biggest crocodiles in the history of fossil records,” says Jonathan Bloch, an expert in vertebrate evolution at the University of Florida.

American Universities Infected by Foreign Spies
BusinessWeek
Chen Dingchang, the head of a Chinese military-sponsored working group on anti-satellite technology, led a delegation in 1998 to the University of Florida to learn about diamond-coating manufacturing, used in missile seekers and other systems, said Mark Stokes, executive director of the Project 2049 Institute in Arlington, Virginia, which studies Chinese aerospace technology…

Crocodiles have rebounded in South Florida
MiamiHerald.com
University of Florida professor Frank Mazzotti says the crocs are reoccupying territory they retreated from as their population dwindled because of hide hunters and coastal development.

UF alum makes it on stage for ‘Price Is Right’ on Monday
Gainesville Sun
Robert Walsh, a 22-year-old University of Florida alumnus from Virginia Beach, wore a T-shirt that said “Drew, please help me pay for law school” when he was on the game show “The Price is Right.”

For many Christians, Easter baptism mirrors Jesus’ rebirth
MiamiHerald.com
According to Dr. John Fitzgerald, a New Testament professor at the University of Miami, Easter baptisms are a long-standing tradition in Christian religions. “Baptism has been understood from the earliest times as a symbolic reenactment of Jesus’ own 

Author Harry: Building bridges takes ‘cultural reciprocity’
BurlingtonFreePress.com
Author and University of Miami professor Elizabeth Harry has a theory about how to improve communication between school employees and students and families from diverse cultural, racial and national backgrounds…

Religious revival: Flocks moved by spirit of megachurches
Palm Beach Post
“I call them the Walmart of the 21st century,” said David Kling, professor of religious studies at the University of Miami. “You go to Walmart and it offers you everything. A megachurch offers the same thing…

Does Your Neighborhood Make You Fat?
KPBS
“We just have to not rush into attributing these regional health disparities to car travel,” said Anne Price, a sociologist at University of South Florida Polytechnic

Releases and Web Stories

Flagler College professor featured in “The Best 300 Professors”
ReadMedia (press release)
AUGUSTINE, FL (04/06/2012)(readMedia)– Flagler College has one of the country’s best undergraduate teachers according to The Princeton Review. The Massachusetts-based education services company profiles history and geography professor Steve Voguit in 

University of West Florida and Academic Partnerships Announce Launch of Online 
SYS-CON Media (press release)
By PR Newswire PENSACOLA, Fla., March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The University of West Florida (UWF), with the assistance of Academic Partnerships, offers an online Master of Education in Educational Leadership degree starting this fall. This 33 credit hour non-thesis certificate program complies with the Florida Principal Leadership Standards and is designed for educators who want to advance in the K-12 education arena. The program was developed to ensure that participants acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to become campus administrators, district supervisors, deans, or curriculum developers at the elementary, middle and secondary level. The 8 week courses are taught by the same professors that teach on campus and the degree can be completed in as little as 18 months…