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SB 1994 — Postsecondary Education

by Budget Committee and Senator Gaetz

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Budget Committee (BC)

  • Creates the Florida Polytechnic University. All laws governing a university will apply, including the establishment of a board of trustees and a president.
  • Requires Florida Polytechnic University to meet the milestones in the Board of Governor’s motion by December 31, 2016.
  • Requires the University of South Florida (USF) to allow current USF Polytechnic students to complete their degree at USF.
  • Transfers real and personal property, licenses and associated revenues, existing contracts, unexpended balances, appropriations, allocations, funds, and mutually agreed-upon obligations, responsibilities, and liabilities of USF Polytechnic to Florida Polytechnic University.
  • Requires USF to retain the current faculty and staff, except for faculty and staff of the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute which are transferred to the new Florida Polytechnic University.
  • Requires USF to transfer Polytechnic-related foundation funds to a new Florida Polytechnic University foundation after obtaining donor consent.
  • Cancels all memorandums of understanding between USF and USF Polytechnic upon this act becoming law.
  • Authorizes a university board of trustees to expend reserve or carry-forward balances from prior year operational and programmatic appropriations for legislatively approved fixed capital outlay projects authorized for the establishment of a new campus.
  • Requires Florida Polytechnic University to allow the University of South Florida to use space at the Lakeland joint-use facility pursuant to a mutual agreement for the purpose of continuing the local education of existing USF Polytechnic students. Florida Polytechnic University shall transfer space at the Lakeland joint-use facility to Polk State College as new space becomes available on the new campus of Florida Polytechnic University.
  • Authorizes the University of Florida to serve in an advisory/consulting capacity to the new university on certain issues.
  • Provides civil immunity for USF and Florida Polytechnic University Board of Trustees, officers, and other employees for actions pertaining to this act.
  • Appropriates $6 million in recurring funds for USF College of Pharmacy.
  • Appropriates $10 million in recurring funds for USF for the purpose of allowing students enrolled in University of South Florida Polytechnic to complete their degrees at USF. This funding is contingent upon USF implementing the transfers required in the bill and upon USF maintaining full campus and program operations, including the retention of current faculty and staff of USF Polytechnic until June 30, 2012.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect upon becoming law.

Vote: Senate 36-4; House 86-31