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New College of Florida

University Merger Plan 'Abandoned'

Mar 7, 2020
glass, dome shaped building
Robin Sussingham / WUSF

A short-lived, yet high-profile, fight to merge New College of Florida and Florida Polytechnic University into the University of Florida died Friday in the state House.

House Speaker Jose Oliva told reporters the chamber “abandoned” the proposal after the Senate refused to go along with the consolidation plan.

Plan To Merge Florida Poly, New College With UF Headed For House Vote

Feb 26, 2020
University of Florida campus
University of Florida

An ambitious university-consolidation plan that folds Florida’s youngest and smallest colleges into the University of Florida was backed by a key House committee on Tuesday, following testy exchanges between state lawmakers and emotional testimony from students.

University of South Florida entrance
University of South Florida

A proposal to decrease the number public universities in Florida from 12 to 10 continues to generate conversations in the legislature. New College and Florida Polytechnic are fighting to stay independent as lawmakers consider merging them into Florida State, and the University of Florida respectively. A third option has emerged: consolidating Polytech and New College into the University of South Florida.

Man speaking
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Gov. Ron DeSantis, House Speaker Jose Oliva, and University of South Florida President Steven Currall all addressed a controversial university consolidation plan for the first time Thursday.

While neither DeSantis nor Oliva endorsed the move, both like the money-saving aspect of the plan. They're also both open to another merger alternative: the University of South Florida.

New College Of Florida Officials, Lawmakers Slam Consolidation Plans

Feb 19, 2020
New College building
New College of Florida

A House proposal seeking to abolish the independent status of two Florida universities is spurring a fierce fight, as a bipartisan group of legislators on Wednesday decried the plan.

The House Education committee is considering a plan to merge Florida Polytechnic University with the University of Florida, and New College of Florida with Florida State University. The proposal was filed Monday and is being met with  mixed reactions.

The Florida House Education Committee will hear a bill Wednesday that would merge the state’s two smallest and youngest public universities with its two oldest ones – and that’s not sitting well with some.

Under Brevard County Republican Rep. Randy Fine's proposal (PCB EDC 20-03), Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland would become part of the University of Florida, while New College of Florida in Sarasota would become part of Florida State University.

On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, students and faculty at New College of Florida swung their sledgehammers Friday and knocked down a replica of the infamous wall, which they'd built on campus in September as a way to study the history of the era and how societal divisions persist today.

With a student population just under 900, New College of Florida in Sarasota has plans to grow to 1,200 students by 2020, and now they have the money to do it. This summer the school started phase one of its growth plan with $5.4 million on funding- another $45 million is expected to be spent on new buildings, forty more professors, and expanding enrollment.

A small number of universities are starting to go against the grain, reducing amenities and frills in favor of keeping the costs relatively low.

Neil Theobald is the president of Temple University, which recently began offering students $4,000 per year in grants — if they promise to limit the number of hours they work during the school year and graduate on time.