This week is Spring Break for many Florida colleges and universities.
Goin’ back to Tally – The 2013 Legislative Regular Session begins tomorrow and runs through May 3, 2013…
- Gov. Rick Scott’s State of the State Address will be tomorrow - Tuesday, 11 a.m., House Chamber, The Capitol.
- Week 1 (March 4-8, 2013) calendars for Senate & House.
Higher Ed-Related Committees to keep an eye on:
- Senate Education Committee
- House Education Committee
- House Choice and Innovation Subcommittee
- House Higher Education and Workforce Subcommittee
- House K-12 Subcommittee
- House Education Appropriations Subcommittee
The Florida House of Representatives announced a new feature rich mobile app at the end of last week to help Floridians to access information…
Noteworthy Recent National Reports
Doing Better for More Students (Infographic) (Issue Brief) (Report)
This report and policy brief calls for a series of key reforms for the federal student financial aid system based on three scopes—simplify federal financial aid programs and tax benefits, promote shared responsibility for completion, and invest in demonstration programs that spur innovation and experimentation.
Completing College: A State-Level View of College Attainment Rates (Press Release) (Report) (Related story) (Interactive Map)
National Student Clearinghouse
This report offers state-by-state analysis of college student attainment rates based on data from more than 3,300 institutions throughout the United States. The study followed first-time, degree-seeking students starting in the fall of 2006 through the spring of 2012. The report includes a number of key findings related to college completion in the states.
The College Completion Agenda 2012 Progress Report (Report)
This report outlines progress made on College Board’s 10 college completion strategies. These strategies contribute to their national goal of increasing the proportion of 25- to 34-year-olds who hold an associate degree or higher to 55 percent by 2025.
Moving the Needle on Degree Completion: The Legislative Role (Report)
Education Commission of the States
This report details key elements of state college completion policies, highlights pertinent policies in state legislatures that could increase college completion and offers four state policymaking models that align goals and strategies related to college completion.
The Economic Payoff for Closing College Readiness and Completion Gaps (Report)
Jobs for the Future
This report analyzes state and foundational investments in student success, including those aimed at improving college readiness, reducing remediation and boosting college completion rates. The report has three conclusions: improving outcomes for low-income students will improve productivity of taxpayer investments in education, investments in college and career readiness will pay off and early college/acceleration strategies can enhance productivity, particularly for low-income students.
A Matter of Degrees: The Effect of Educational Attainment on Regional Economic Prosperity (Executive Summary & Research Findings) (Report) (Interactive website) (Related story)
This report finds a strong relationship between regional economic prosperity and a quality workforce, including strong economic returns for additional schooling for the workforce. The report includes five policy recommendations.
Dual Credit and Exam-Based Courses in U.S. Public High Schools: 2010–11(Report)
National Center For Education Statistics – IES
This report provides nationally representative data on the prevalence and characteristics of dual credit and exam-based courses in public high schools. Dual credit is defined as a course or program where high school students can earn both high school and postsecondary credits for the same courses; exam-based courses are Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. During the 2010–11 school year, 82% of high schools reported that students were enrolled in dual credit courses and 69% reported enrollments in AP or IB courses. High schools reported approximately 2 million enrollments in dual credit courses and about 3.5 million enrollments in AP or IB courses. About three-quarters (76%) of all high schools reported that students took dual credit courses with an academic focus, and about half (49%) of all high schools reported that students took dual credit courses with a career and technical/vocational focus.
Noteworthy Recent State Report…
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) Operational Audit (Audit)
Florida Auditor General
This report presents findings from an operational audit for Fiscal Year 2011-2012 and includes 24 findings and recommendations as well as the university’s response. Key findings focused on administrative management and board policies, including that the university needed to improve its procedures to ensure that timely public notice are made for board and committee meetings and that written minutes of all meetings subject to the provisions of the Sunshine Law are prepared and made available for public inspection. In regards to intercollegiate athletic programs, the audit found that FAMU’s programs have experienced cash deficits for several years. In addition, the university’s controls related to payroll processing needed improvement and the former President’s employment agreement included a severance pay provision that was contrary to Florida Statute.
State University System
Florida Atlantic Donation Sparks Outrage, But University Doesn’t Budge
Florida Atlantic University says it’s standing by its deal to sell naming rights to its new football stadium to a controversial private prison company. The Boca Raton-based GEO Group faces allegations of abuse and neglect at some of its facilities, and there’s a growing call on campus for the school to sever its ties…
Heated questions, muted answers as FAU defends naming stadium after prison company
Palm Beach Post
What was billed as a dialogue on a hotly contested $6 million donation by the private prison company GEO Group to Florida Atlantic University, turned out Friday to be two sides talking by each other with little or no meeting of minds.
FAU-prison deal: “Dialogue” meeting ends with little resolution
Students vowed more protests after a testy meeting Friday with Florida Atlantic University President Mary Jane Saunders, who said there was no way out of the deal that gave the naming rights for FAU’s stadium to a prison company…
FAU PRESIDENT SAUNDERS HOLDS STUDENT-REQUESTED Q&A OVER STADIUM RENAMING
Stop Owlcatraz Coalition member Alexandra Casuso yelled loudly, “Hey-hey, ho-ho, GEO Group has got to go!” at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, March 1, while skipping in a circle and shaking a blue tambourine, marching towards the newly named GEO Group Football Stadium. She and other students approached the recruitment room of the stadium for a Q&A with President Mary Jane Saunders about the affiliation with the GEO Group — a private prison company with years of violations and lawsuits…
Forum turns hostile as students grill FAU president over stadium naming rights
A packed conference room at Florida Atlantic University’s football stadium grew tense Friday when President Mary Jane Saunders agreed to take questions from students about the facility’s naming rights…
Protestors march on FAU campus against new name of stadium
Students and faculty stomped their way to FAU’s stadium hoping to get an answer to why – why is their new stadium going to be named after a company accused of mistreatment? “
Sigma Chi denies hazing allegations at suspension hearing
Central Florida Future
At a hearing last week, a UCF Sigma Chi representative said three men pictured in a photograph that led to the chapter’s suspension were on a list of incoming new members but weren’t consuming alcohol or being hazed. The photo, posted to TotalFratMove.com’s Facebook page on Feb. 4, shows an unidentified young man with a drink being held to his lips by someone out of frame. Two other men in the photo are sitting down, hunched forward with a trashcan nearby. The caption on the photo read, “Forcing a pledge to chug while two others puke in misery. TFM.”
UCF suspends socials for fraternities, sororities
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when the University of Central Florida decided that the behavior of its Greek student organizations was out of control — after all, UCF fraternities and sororities have been caught breaking the rules…
UCF’s Sigma Chi denies hazing, alcohol-misconduct
A University of Central Florida fraternity denied involvement in an incident of alleged hazing and alcohol-related misconduct but provided little evidence to refute the allegations during a hearing last month…
WFTV gets recording of meeting between UCF, president of suspended fraternity
Channel 9 obtained an audio recording of a meeting between University of Central Florida officials and the president of a fraternity that was suspended because of hazing accusations…
UF physicians treat ailing pets in hyperbaric chamber
Doctors at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Medicine have recently used an oxygen chamber on dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits and one monkey…
Students get up-close look at life as a vet
The event gave some 680 college students from across the country a sense of what veterinary medicine is all about. UF faculty delivered lectures and conducted hands-on laboratories in which students learned how to suture pig hoofs from Publix and identify signs of animal abuse on cadavers of dogs and cats…
Would you try this to get into UF?
Tampa Bay Times
The University of Florida is a tough school to get into, and boy if it doesn’t know it: UF included this hoop of an essay prompt on the application to its honors program: “Write a poem about your most embarrassing moment.”
University of Florida Is the Number 9 Public University
UF – Bureau of Economic and Business Research
Many Floridians hope that the nation’s fourth-largest state will offer its best high-school graduates a top-ten public university. Given current standings, the University of Florida has the best shot. In the most frequently cited ranking, that by U.S. News and World Report, UF usually comes in around number 17 or 18. A new ranking by four economists, however, places UF as the number nine public university, with FSU 17th…
Christopher N. Avery, Mark E. Glickman, Caroline M. Hoxby, and Andrew Merrick, “A Revealed Preference Ranking of U.S. College and Universities,”Quarterly Journal of Economics, February 2013, pp. 425-467.
Are Florida Universities Being Shortchanged by Standard-bearer of College Rankings?
Sunshine State News
U.S. News & World Report has been the go-to high school students’ guide for researching the best colleges and universities in America for years. But, is it accurate and can it be gamed by universities who have figured out its method for compiling university rankings?
UNF students work to find missing graves
Now students from the University of North Florida are hoping to get to the bottom of some of those questions without ever picking up a shovel…
State College System
In session: Southwest Florida’s state lawmakers list their priorities
Naples Daily News
…SB 454 would allow the Florida college system to have mutual-aid agreements with local law enforcement…
Florida State College at Jacksonville students who got too much aid get grace …
First Coast News
Florida State College at Jacksonville students who were given too much financial aid will have a 90-day grace period to enter a repayment plan. RELATED: Financial aid errors cost FSCJ $2.5 million.
Taco Bus to open fifth and largest location in Brandon
…While the new location will be slightly off the main drag – it’s going in at 311 S. Falkenberg Road — it is meant to capture drivers traveling the interstates, employees in nearby warehouses, students from Hillsborough Community College and employees at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office…
Pensacola State College Milton campus hosts 25th annual Lumberjack Festival
Pensacola News Journal
As locals and tourists alike gathered under the trees of the Pensacola State College Milton campus on Saturday for the 25th annual Northwest Florida Forestry Conclave and Lumberjack Festival, they were treated to a taste of competition, a glimpse back …
For more than 10 years, Polk State College has hosted Back On Campus, a free event that is open to the public. During Back on Campus, members of Polk State’s faculty and staff, as well as guest lecturers from the community, share insight into their areas of expertise and interest…
A night to celebrate the arts
The Gainesville Orchestra celebrated three decades of history and marked a new beginning Friday with its 30th Anniversary Concert at the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall…
15 questions on Highlands County
Q: How many times has South Florida State College changed its name? A: Three times. From South Florida Junior College to South Florida Community College to South Florida State College.
St. Petersburg College moves forward with new Midtown campus
It’s not that St. Petersburg College stopped caring about the campus with the white paint and red awnings and six classrooms in Midtown. It just outgrew it. In February the college chose a construction firm as it presses forward with a new Midtown Center at 22nd Street and 13th Avenue S, a three-story building with brick accents. The $14 million building will have more than twice as many classrooms and a smattering of other student spaces as the college tries to get locals to enroll and perhaps improve the Midtown neighborhood along the way.
Independent Colleges and Universities
Eckerd College student killed by drunken driver in fiery crash in Osceola County
An Eckerd College freshman was killed Thursday night in Osceola County after a drunk driver slammed into her vehicle, authorities said. Rachel Price, 18, of West Melbourne, was driving west on U.S. 192 at Old Melbourne Highway when a 2002 Ford pickup turned in front of Price’s Hyundai sedan, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The impact caused the college student’s car to burst into flames. She and her passenger, 19-year-old Jamaree Cook of Palm Bay, died. The driver of a third vehicle that got caught in the crash was not injured. Nor was the driver of the truck, Randall Kerley, 47, of St. Cloud, who was arrested on charges of DUI manslaughter.
Overcowded weight room highlights gym safety concerns
Flagler College Gargoyle
The Student Government Association (SGA) spoke with the Flagler College Board of Trustees about what infrastructures are on their priority list, and the gym was one of the infrastructures brought up.
Developer pitches new Winter Park ballpark
A developer is pitching Rollins College and the Brevard County Manatees (High Class A; Florida State League) on a new privately financed ballpark in Winter Park as part of a larger development. The new ballpark would be part of the mixed-use Ravaudage development at U.S. Highway 17-92 and Lee Road, near Winter Park Village. It’s no secret the Manatees have laid the paperwork and groundwork for a move to the greater Orlando area. And Winter Park is a very desirable part of the greater Orlando area: it’s far from the hustle and bustle of theme parks, with a stable local population that doesn’t scream retiree. By our reckoning, Orlando is now the largest market lacking Minor League Baseball, but it’s an odd and challenging market in terms of sprawl, demographics and potential sponsorship sources…
Florida college shuts down dorm-room Bible study
Rollins College has shut down a Bible study that was taking place in one of the dorm rooms, Fox News’ Todd Starnes reports. The Winter Park, Fla., college claims the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship violated policy when it held an informal Bible study in the common area of a dorm suite.
UM, county clash with owner of mall over pedestrian overpass above US-1
After several University of Miami students have been killed or seriously injured trying to cross busy U. S. 1 to get to popular retail spots on the other side, Miami-Dade County has finally approved building a Mediterranean-styled pedestrian bridge …
Yip Yap: Noted and Quoted FLHE Voices from Around the Web
Shultz: FAU can’t talk its way past the GEO stadium controversy
Palm Beach Post
Here is the message from Florida Atlantic University about the $6 million football stadium deal with prison company GEO Group: We’re keeping the money. If you don’t like it, tough…
Commentary: GEO Group being criticized unfairly over FAU donation
Palm Beach Post
Following the Feb. 19 announcement of The GEO Group Foundation’s charitable donation to the Florida Atlantic University Foundation, some have criticized our company and FAU based on a misunderstanding of the facts. It’s now time to set the record straight…Pablo E. Paez is vice president of corporate relations for The GEO Group, which is based in Boca Raton. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Florida Atlantic University, where he served as student body president. He is a former member of the FAU Board of Trustees…
Marston: Keep Forward Focus on Florida Poly
Florida Polytechnic University was the subject of trash talk throughout February from its neighbors to the west. The name-calling started Feb. 5 when the Florida Polytechnic board of trustees decided to ask the Florida Legislature for $25 million in funding to finish the main building under construction on the new Interstate 4 campus in northeast Lakeland. There’s only one reasonable response: Florida Poly’s trustees and staff should hold their heads high and walk on.
Letter: Community should be grateful to GEO for gift to FAU
Palm Beach Post
Florida Atlantic University students, parents, staff, faculty, alumni, friends and fans should be grateful for the generosity of the GEO Group, as put forth via Chairman George Zoley, and its gift to name the FAU stadium. Grateful not simply due to the size of the gift but for the fact that Mr. Zoley elected to keep this gift at home…JAMES J. RIORDAN – Boca Raton, FL Editor’s note: James J. Riordan is director of Florida Atlantic University’s MBA-Sport Management Program. He holds a doctorate from FAU.
Letter: GEO’s commitment deserves our praise
Palm Beach Post
The GEO Group established its headquarters in Boca Raton in April 2003 and recently showed its commitment to our community with its generous gift of $6 million to Florida Atlantic University. The gift was just the latest example of GEO’s promise to make a difference in South Florida and beyond…TROY M. MCLELLAN – Boca Raton
Daytona State men’s basketball coach Anthony Andre has resigned
Daytona Beach News-Journal
After six seasons as Daytona State College men’s basketball coach, Anthony Andre resigned Thursday. “There was no pressure — it was just time,” Andre said Saturday. “I’m good. They’re good. The program will continue on…
FAMU President’s Tour comes to Pensacola
Pensacola News Journal
Florida A&M University Interim President Larry Robinson will visit Pensacola Saturday as part of the university’s annual President’s Tour…
FAU flap ‘a little surprising’ to GEO chair
Palm Beach Post
As a businessman, GEO Group Chairman George Zoley is a sharp-elbowed capitalist who has made millions running a company that has been criticized by government regulators time and again. As a philanthropist, Zoley is a generous supporter of Florida Atlantic University, giving time and money to his alma mater…
FAU sued by murdered escort’s mother
Sandi Cooper, mother of allegedly murdered escort Sheri Carter, filed a lawsuit against FAU on Jan. 30 for “negligent security” in hiring FAU’s ex-cop Jimmy Ho — her daughter’s alleged killer…
Why did college board’s chairman accuse Lars Hafner of forgery?
Tampa Bay Times
Five years ago, Lars Hafner was riding high. After 22 years as a St. Petersburg College administrator and 12 years as a Democratic state legislator from Pinellas County, he was picked to be the new president of Manatee Community College. Hafner earned praise and raises — until last summer, when the college’s board chairman accused him of forgery. The board voted 5-2 to call in investigators. By October he was out of a job…
Political notes: a roundup of Manatee County political club news
PERIDIA — Southeast Manatee County Democratic Club lunch is set for 11:30 a.m. March 21 at Peridia Golf and Country Club, 4950 Peridia Blvd. The featured speaker will be Richard Coe, professor of economics at New College of Florida. His topic will be “The U.S. Budget, Taxes and Expenditures.”…
Conquering Proustian terror
If you’ve always wanted to read Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time” (previously translated as “Remembrance of Things Past”) and for whatever reason were too intimidated to begin the seven-volume journey, Elyane Dezon-Jones and Jocelyn Van Tuyl have some advice…”I am very aware that it is a difficult text for people,” said Dezon-Jones. “Proust himself was very aware that he was not writing for everybody. The book is not about him, it’s about the readers. It’s a different way of writing, a different way of reading. That is, you are reading your own story.”…Dezon-Jones, a part-time Sarasotan, is a Proust scholar who has won two academic medals in France and has spent her entire academic career reading Proust. Van Tuyl, a professor of French language and literature at New College of Florida, fell in love with Proust 30 years ago, the summer between her freshman and sophomore years in college.
After brutal slaying of husband, a Broward widow endures
Joe [Morrissey], a cancer researcher with a doctorate from Stanford University and an general reputation, taught pharmacology during Nova Southeastern University. Their total incomes afforded a $393,000 residence in Plantation, ice hockey and kung fu lessons for Patrick, unfamiliar travel, and donations to a Catholic church…
Florida, U.S. college students endure degrees of debt
Haley Warner wanted to be a pediatric nurse, so she attended Nova Southeastern University because of its proximity to home and top-notch reputation. She fears that decision will haunt her for decades. Warner has taken out $90,000 in student loans to pay for tuition, textbooks and other expenses, but it wasn’t until after graduating in 2011 that she learned her monthly payments, including interest, would be $1,400. Faced with that daunting number, she opted to enroll in Nova’s nurse practitioner master’s program, thus biding time on repayments. Graduate school, however, will put her another $40,000 in debt, and all the while interest accrues on her original loans. “These student loans will follow me forever,” said Warner, who recently moved from Fort Myers to Jupiter…
03/04: Business events
Rollins College Center of Advanced Entrepreneurship, University of Central Florida’s GrowFL CEO Forum featuring Jeff Hoffman, Founder, Priceline.com…
Sarah Palin Heads Roster at Leadership Forum at Southeastern University
Southeastern University is gearing up for its annual fundraising leadership event next week, featuring former Alaska governor Sarah Palin as star attraction…
Paul Demie Mainieri Field at St. Thomas University Dedicated in Honor of Renowned College Baseball Coach
Former baseball coach, athletic director and alumnus of the St. Thomas University Sports Administration program Paul Mainieri was honored Friday night at the dedication of a new baseball field and scoreboard at St. Thomas University. The new field, home of the St. Thomas University Bobcats baseball team, is now named Paul Demie Mainieri Field at Frank R. Esposito Stadium…
Horse herpes, Equine Herpes Virus, EHV-1: Hundreds of Florida horses quarantined after outbreak
…Rob MacKay, professor of large animal medicine at the University of Florida, said there are two different strains of EHV-1 – one known as a “wild” strain and a second “neuro” strain that is far more contagious and deadly…
Cause of Florida sinkhole tragedy: Human activity or revenge of the karst?
Christian Science Monitor
“Losing a house to a sinkhole is very common, losing life is uncommon,” says retired University of Florida geologist Tony Randazzo. ”Most people will have some warning of the pending doom or catastrophic collapse. But there apparently were no warning signs of what happened at the Bush house. That would be very scary.”
UNF professor teaches creative writing by examining ‘Game of Thrones’
After Will Pewitt, who teaches creative writing at the University of North Florida, got the go-ahead to teach a course on “A Song of Ice and Fire,” he spent a morning last October putting up fliers around campus so students would know it would be offered this semester…
Whitewater investigator Ken Starr to speak at UNF on religion and government
Ken Starr drew much praise and heaps of scorn as well for his role in the ever-expanding investigation during President Clinton’s administration into what was broadly known as the Whitewater scandal. He’s speaking at the University of North Florida …
Ben & Jerry’s co-founder talks business at USF
His first name — Jerry — is more recognizable than his last and when it’s paired with Ben, his partner’s name, there is probably not a soul on the planet who doesn’t think “ice cream.” But Jerry Greenfield, who along with Ben Cohen founded Ben & Jerry’s, is about more than the quirkily named flavors that helped build the Vermont ice cream empire. In fact, he never developed a flavor or was responsible for names like Cherry Garcia or the short-lived Ethan Almond. That was all Cohen, he says.
USF alum serves up $650K gift to hospitality school
Gulf Coast Business Review
Travel industry entrepreneur and University of South Florida alum Robert Purzycki announced a $650,000 gift for the USF Sarasota-Manatee College of Hospitality and Technology Leadership…
USF senior claims Miss Tampa pageant title
Ashley Ramsey, a senior in political science at the University of South Florida, was crowned Miss Tampa on Saturday night from among 10 young women competing in the annual pageant.
USF classmates create deployable housing
USF architecture grad Sean Verdecia based AbleNook on bungalows he admired in Hyde Park and Seminole Heights. Units have a porch and curved 10-foot ceiling…
Releases and Web Stories
Authentic Brooklyn Bagels and Pizza Hitting Florida State University’s New College Town This Fall
Virtual-Strategy Magazine (press release)
Students descending onto Florida State University this fall will be able to get a taste of the real Brooklyn – without ever having to leave campus. Brooklyn Water Enterprises, Inc. plans to open its first college campus location in September at the new FSU College Town development. The 6,000-square-foot restaurant now under construction combines The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. ®, The Original Brooklyn Water Pizza and Pasta Co.TM and The Original Brooklyn Water Coffee & Creamery Co.TM – all under a single roof…
New marine species discovered in Pacific Ocean
EurekAlert (press release)
HOLLYWOOD Fla. — When Jim Thomas and his global team of researchers returned to the Madang Lagoon in Papua New Guinea, they discovered a treasure trove of new species unknown to science. This is especially relevant as the research team consisted of scientists who had conducted a previous survey in the 1990s. ”In the Madang Lagoon, we went a half mile out off the leading edge of the active Australian Plate and were in 6,000 meters of water,” said Thomas, Ph.D., a researcher at Nova Southeastern University’s National Coral Reef Institute in Hollywood, Fla…
Stetson named Tree Campus USA
Stetson University Today
For the second year in a row, Stetson has been named a Tree Campus USA, giving Stetson national recognition for the work it does on campus to support a healthy outdoor environment…
New model could lead to improved treatment for early stage Alzheimer’s
University of Florida
Researchers at the University of Florida and The Johns Hopkins University have developed a line of genetically altered mice that model the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Two INTO University Partners Earn Recognition for Excellence in Comprehensive Internationalization
Marketwire (press release)
SAN DIEGO, CA–(Marketwire – Mar 1, 2013) – INTO University Partnerships announced today that two of its university partners, University of South Florida (USF) and Colorado State University (CSU) were selected for NAFSA’s 2013 Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization. The universities are being recognized for their dedication to building globally diverse and engaged campuses through strategic international and intercultural initiatives…
Walgreens Bayside Business Forum to focus on social media policies
USFSP News Center
The March Walgreens Bayside Business Forum will feature a distinguished group of panelists discussing the risks social media can have on companies. The forum, “Social Media in the Workplace: Setting Policies and Training Employees to Protect Your Company’s Reputation Online,” will be held Friday, March 8 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., at Franklin Templeton, 100 Fountain Parkway N, St. Petersburg. It is free and open to the public…The Walgreens Bayside Business Forum is presented by the Dean’s Advisory Council of the College of Business at USF St. Petersburg. The series focuses on interdisciplinary collaborations that are shaping Florida’s business future…
Mentor Program Provides 49 High School Students with Full College Scholarships
Valencia College News
A college education can be life-changing – “a golden ticket to a better future” – and it’s a dream that’s about to come true for 49 graduating Orange County high school seniors. On Thursday, Feb. 28, Take Stock in Children of Orange County awarded $30,000 college scholarships to 49 students who have participated in the organization’s unique mentorship program for five years…