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Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed into a law a higher-education package that changes how public universities and colleges will fund construction projects, a top priority of House Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes.

The bill (SB 190) was prompted, in part, by a high-profile financial scandal at the University of Central Florida. The university was found to have misused millions of dollars in state funds for a construction project.

Jordan Zimmerman, seen with USF President Judy Genshaft and students at the naming of the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications in 2015, has been named the chair of the USF Board of Trustees.
Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

The University of South Florida will have a new president, Steven Currall, in July. But before that, it's gaining a new chair of the Board of Trustees.

Advertising executive Jordan Zimmerman has served as the Board's vice chair since June of 2016. He's now moving up to the lead role, taking over for Brian Lamb after a unanimous vote from the rest of the board Monday.

Steven Currall was approved as the next USF System president by the Florida Board of Governors Thursday. USF Board Chair Brian Lamb, left, was named to the Board of Governors as well.
The Florida Channel

Two announcements about University of South Florida leadership were made at the Florida Board of Governors meeting Thursday – one that was expected, and one that was a bit of a surprise.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

Dr. Jonathan Ellen resigned earlier this week as CEO of Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital after an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times into the hospital's mortality rate for heart surgery patients.

Now, Ellen is stepping down from other leadership roles as well.

UCF's Improper Spending Triggers Scrutiny At Florida's Other Universities

Oct 1, 2018

Following the revelation that the University of Central Florida improperly used operating funds to construct a campus building, the Florida Board of Governors is asking all universities to review projects built over the last decade and report on how they were funded.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

In the minutes following last week's Florida Board of Governors' vote establishing the University of South Florida as the state's third preeminent university, USF System President Judy Genshaft was savoring the accomplishment, but already looking ahead. 

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

During her medallion speech in 2001, University of South Florida System President Judy Genshaft set a goal: get USF on the same level as the state's two flagship schools, the University of Florida and Florida State University.

At 10:59 a.m. Wednesday, that goal finally came to fruition.

State Report: More Women Look To Online Classes To Earn Degrees

Mar 27, 2018

More women than men opt to take only online classes to earn bachelor’s degrees in Florida’s state university system, according to a new report from the system’s Board of Governors.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF Public Media

University of South Florida officials are not waiting for Governor Rick Scott to sign a higher education bill before they start planning to consolidate their campuses under one accreditation.

Lawmakers Debate University Performance Funding

Feb 14, 2018

An education bill is sparking debate about how universities receive performance funding and lawmakers are facing an important decision about the future of the program.

Flickr

Florida's state university system may ask legislators to expand the state's popular Bright Futures scholarship program to cover summer courses.

A tale of two Florida universities and their presidents sees one school part ways with its leader, while the other has found a new boss.

By a vote of 10-1, the Board of Trustees of Florida A&M University approved a plan Thursday under which President Elmira Mangum will step down immediately.

Florida Board of Governors

The Florida Board of Governors has taken the first steps toward approving a standard search process for university presidents, with a final vote on approving the policy expected at the panel's June meeting.

Steve Newborn / WUSF News

Members of the State University System's Board of Governors said Thursday they were disappointed that Florida's newest university will miss the original deadline for getting accredited, a designation that can affect students' job prospects and ability to receive financial aid.

USF University Communications & Marketing

The longest serving president in the history of the University of South Florida will remain on board for at least one more year.

The USF Board of Trustees unanimously approved a one-year contract extension for Judy Genshaft at their meeting on Thursday.

USF Health

The University of South Florida has already received $17 million from state lawmakers for a new building that would house its medical school and heart health institute in downtown Tampa. 

Now comes word that university officials are going to seek an additional $22.5 million for the project in the next fiscal year - money they say they likely can't finance the project without.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

While University of South Florida officials wait to see if the Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott sign off on the state budget and more than $29 million for two important projects, they're also waiting for approval of millions more in performance-based rewards.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The University of South Florida, Florida International University and the University of Central Florida – the state’s three largest metropolitan research universities – are teaming up in an effort to improve graduation rates as well as the number of degrees they award in high-demand areas.

Combined, the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities (FCMRU) serve an area that includes almost two-thirds percent of the state’s population and nearly half of the students enrolled in the State University System.

USF Communications & Marketing

For the third time, the Florida Board of Governors will dole out performance-based 'bonus' funds to the state's public universities, and for the third time, the University of South Florida System placed near the top of the list.

USF Health

On Thursday, University of South Florida officials will once again ask the Florida Board of Governors to approve their request for $57 million in state funding to build the Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute in downtown Tampa.

Strategic Property Partners LLC

Along with the Amelie Arena and the proposed University of South Florida medical school/heart institute, Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik wants the headquarters for a Fortune 500 company to be a centerpiece of his

Even with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik voicing their support for the plan, the Florida Board of Governors put the University of South Florida's proposed downtown Morsani College of Medicine on hold for the moment.

A preliminary report on the future of the joint Florida A&M-Florida State University College of Engineering shows a separation could be as high as a billion dollars.

The Florida legislature commissioned the study earlier this year after a plan pushed by former State Senator John Thrasher failed. Thrasher is now president of Florida State University.

Florida's two best-known universities — fiercely competitive on the athletic field and among their alumni — are each getting new presidents that vary significantly in their background and experience.

The state board that oversees Florida's state university system on Thursday officially confirmed the selections for the University of Florida and Florida State University. The Board of Governors approved the hires while meeting on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

WUSF has learned that Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik has offered about an acre of land in downtown Tampa to the University of South Florida to build both the USF Morsani College of Medicine and the USF Health Heart Institute.

If the University of South Florida wants more state money to build a new medical school, they first need to decide where they want to build it.

That was the caveat laid down by the Florida Board of Governors' faculty committee at a meeting in Jupiter Wednesday.

Florida State University student groups are hoping to get the state Board of Governors to block the presidential confirmation of state Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine). The groups and several faculty members have protested at every step of the search process this year, at one point leading to the resignation of the school’s original search consultant.

Florida’s public universities will risk more money this year in an effort to convince Florida lawmakers to give them additional funds. The state university system governing board wants the legislature to increase the public university budget by more than $200 million,  half of which would be awarded based on individual schools’ performance.

State university leaders want to add $45 million in needs-based financial aid to help make up for changes to the Bright Futures scholarship program. Those new, higher qualifications will eliminate more than $250 million a year in college aid by 2018.

The Florida Board of Governors is weighing how national rankings should impact the state’s public universities. When it comes to evaluating schools, the board agrees metrics should matter, but how much?

Florida’s state university system governing board wants the public universities to climb in the national rankings. But which one? Several groups rank schools. U.S. News and World Report is the most popular,  but there’s also Newsweek, and Kiplinger. The Princeton Review. And none of the outlets ranks the schools the same way. s

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