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Nearly a decade after the Great Recession, Florida may finally restore one of its main programs that aids students headed to college.

The state Legislature late Monday approved an overhaul of the state's higher education system that is intended to lift schools in the Sunshine State into the ranks of elite counterparts.

Eric Younghans / USF Health

When the 164 members of this year’s University of South Florida Health Morsani College of Medicine graduating class donned their caps and gowns last month, they were students.

Now, when they put their white lab coats on, they are doctors.

During the commencement ceremony at Tampa’s Straz Center, the new physicians heard from Dr. Victor J. Dzau, the president of the National Academy of Medicine.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

As more than 6,000 students received their degrees from the University of South Florida this weekend, school officials were urging the Tampa Bay area community to call Florida lawmakers who made a last-minute change to the qualifications for universities to receive "preeminence status." 

It's a move that stands to take away more than $10 million from USF. 

GradImages

Almost 6,500 students from across the University of South Florida System will receive their degrees this weekend during nine ceremonies in the school's 111th commencement convocation. 

10 News WTSP-TV

UPDATED 5/4 4:00 P.M.
The judge who questioned University of South Florida football coach Charlie Strong's control of the program following the arrests of two players has recused herself from one of their cases. 

ESPN reports that Hillsborough County judge and USF alumna Margaret Taylor submitted an order of disqualification Thursday morning after her earlier comments received national attention. Filing such an order removes her from as the judge in the LaDarrius Jackson case.  

GoUSFBulls.com

University of South Florida football player LaDarrius Jackson is being held without bond on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment after allegedly attacking a female student in a residence hall on the Tampa campus Monday.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Final exams started this past weekend at the University of South Florida, so, armed with a recorder and some very strong coffee, I decided to go around the Tampa campus in the three days before tests began to see how USF helps students deal with the stress.

Lawmakers Reach Agreement On Higher Ed Changes

May 2, 2017

TALLAHASSEE — House and Senate negotiators reached agreement Saturday on the major portions of a higher-education budget that will dramatically expand student financial aid, boost university funding and bring significant policy changes for universities and state colleges.

Funding for a clinic to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans and Pulse first responders has been cut from Florida’s budget.

Wikipedia Commons

An agreement was inked Monday to have one company manage both the Amalie Arena and the University of South Florida Sun Dome.  

The arenas will be run by the company operated by Jeff Vinik, who owns the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team and the Arena Football League's Tampa Bay Storm.

As legislators work out the details of implementing medical marijuana, pharmacists at the University of South Florida are determining how to deliver it as medication.

Sonia Labrador-Rodriguez

This Saturday, New College is wrapping up a yearlong series of events around the relationship between Cuba and the U.S. 

New College professor Sonia Labrador-Rodriguez organized the Cubano-American Community Project, which looks at the deep roots Cuban-Americans have in this part of Florida.

Wikimedia Commons

Summer is peak mosquito season, and that means greater concern about the Zika virus.

On Thursday, representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health gave updated information about the virus to a group of scholars at the University of South Florida College of Public Health. 

Flickr

Florida public universities and colleges may be able to hold secret searches for new leaders.

Niagara Falls Aviary, via Wikipedia

The University of South Florida temporarily stopped one researcher's work with the West Nile Virus earlier this year after eight birds died during the research.

According to a statement from USF, that work has since been restarted after the issues involved were addressed.

Tampa Bay Sports Commission

March Madness is coming back to Tampa, as the Amalie Arena has been selected as a host site for first and second round games in the 2020 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship.

In addition, the Bay area will welcome 11 Division II championship events in 2020 and 2021. 

USF Sarasota-Manatee

During the course of her career, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee associate professor of literacies education Jody McBrien estimates she’s visited 36 different countries.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

“To be, or not to be” opens one of the most famous soliloquies of William Shakespeare – but an exhibit currently at the University of South Florida changes that phrase to “To be well, or not to be well.”

"And there’s the humor of it" Shakespeare and the four humors is a traveling exhibition designed by the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Since mid-March, it’s been on display at the USF Shimberg Health Sciences Library, which recently hosted a reception for students and faculty to check it out.

Pool/Edmund D. Fountain/Tampa Bay Times

The state of Florida came a step closer Tuesday to formally apologizing for the abuse of hundreds of children over the course of a century at the state-run Dozier School for Boys.

Florida Inventors Hall of Fame

While the class lacks a "household name" like Thomas Edison or Henry Ford, the 2017 inductees into the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame are a varied collection of creative minds that hold a collective 260 U.S. patents. 

Among the honorees is Richard D. Gitlin, a State of Florida 21st Century World Class Scholar and the Agere Systems endowed Chair in the University of South Florida Department of Electrical Engineering.

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