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Gov. Scott: Five Reasons Florida Polytechnic "Makes Sense"

Gov. Rick Scott addresses the crowd after Sine Dine 2012.
Gov. Rick Scott addresses the crowd after Sine Dine 2012.

“I want to make sure, if we’re going to have a 12th university, that we can afford a 12th university,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said during the legislative session when he was asking all the other public universities to dip into their reserves to cover budget cuts.

Scott signed legislation creating Florida Polytechnic as a fully funded independent university beginning July 1, 2012. He defended his decision to WUSF, but was short with specifics on how he will measure if the cost will be worth it to taxpayers.

Here’s five reasons Scott said Florida Polytechnic “makes sense.”

1. It focuses state resources “where the jobs are right now” -  STEM (science, technology, engineering and math.) 2. “It will payoff ” by producing more STEM graduates. 3. “It’s the exact same funding that we were doing already.” 4. The Board of Governors has already made this decision. 5. “Sometimes there’s a benefit from starting something from scratch ... sometimes when you do that in business, you end up with a better result.”

When asked how he will measure if Polytechnic is successful, the governor was short on specifics.

“The measurement will be how much dollars are we putting in,” Scott said, “And how many degrees are they producing and are those individuals getting jobs.”

He admits the same results, more STEM degrees, could have been accomplished by giving the funding to existing STEM programs within the university system.

“Nobody came back with that proposal,” Scott said.

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
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