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Florida University Reopening Plans Given Green Light

Jun 23, 2020
students in university lecture hall
iStock

As Gov. Ron DeSantis increasingly points to young adults as the source for a spike in coronavirus cases in Florida, public universities across the state are moving forward with plans to reopen campuses in the fall. 

The Florida university system’s Board of Governors on Tuesday approved individual reopening plans put together by each of the state’s 12 state universities.

University of South Florida entrance
University of South Florida

The University of South Florida is rolling out its plan to reopen its campuses.

Phase one of a four phase plan approved last week by the Board of Trustees goes into effect Monday.

Bulls statues at Marshall Center on USF campus
Carl Lisciandrello / WUSF Public Media

Because of COVID-19, the University of South Florida has been closed to all but essential personnel since March, with classes in the last half of the spring and all summer being held online.

That will soon change, as trustees approved a plan Tuesday that gradually reopens the school for the fall semester.

students in university lecture hall
iStock

The Florida Board of Governors released its student success-based metrics last week, and the University of South Florida came out on top of the state’s twelve public universities.

Students at Florida’s 12 public universities could be returning to campus this fall, according to a new plan approved by the Florida Board of Governors. The universities will use the blueprint to develop individual reopening plans following shutdowns due to the coronavirus.

University Leaders Approve Plan To Reopen Campuses To Students Amid COVID-19

May 29, 2020
Bull statues on USF campus
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

With COVID-19 concerns still pressing on the Fall semester for Florida universities and others nationwide, the Board of Governors approved the State University System’s plans to bring students back to campus.

University of South Florida entrance
University of South Florida

The Florida Board of Governors is scheduled to talk about plans for reopening the state's twelve public universities Thursday.

The University of South Florida released a revised calendar for the fall semester ahead of that meeting.

Florida's Universities Focused On Reopening While Grappling With Many Questions

May 25, 2020
a young woman holds a sign thanking Corona while resting her foot on a bunch of toilet paper in front of a USF sign
USF Alumni Association/Twitter

As Florida universities face a mid-June deadline to solidify plans for safely reopening campuses in the fall, some school leaders continue to wrestle with questions.

Bull statues on USF campus
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

State university system Chancellor Marshall Criser next week will present guidelines for reopening university campuses in the fall, after students were sent home in March to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Exterior of bookstore on USF campus
CARL LISCIANDRELLO/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

While Florida businesses have started reopening this week, the same isn’t true for the state’s public university system. Students have been learning remotely since mid-March.

Man stands at a podium with people behind him while adressing reporters
Thomas Iacobucci / WUSF Public Media

All Florida public universities, including the University of South Florida, will transition to online course instruction to lessen the risk of coronavirus.

The Florida Board of Governors announced the change will take place “as soon as possible.” At USF, classes will meet as scheduled through Friday. Then, students go on spring break before returning to a lot of changes.

Bronze bull statues in the fountain in front of a green copper looming student center.
Daylina Miller/WUSF Public Media

Health officials say COVID-19 is spread person to person through close contact -- people who are indoors and in close proximity with others for extended periods of time.

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.

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