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Florida Polytechnic board asked by state to explain unusual, unexpected $25M request

7:27 PM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - With the yet-to-be-opened Florida Polytechnic University seeking an infusion of $25 million cash from the state legislature, the Chair of the State University System (SUS) is asking for an explanation.

SUS Chair Dean Colson penned a letter to the Chairman of the Poly Board of Trustees, Robert Gidel, Wednesday that asked Gidel to explain the unusual appropriations request. Typically, universities petition the SUS and Board of Governors (BOG) for funding allocations, rather than the legislature.

TIMELINE: Florida Poly's Controversial History

Colson's letter read:

Dear Chair Gidel:

On behalf of the Board of Governors, we are requesting you attend our next meeting, taking place March 27th and 28th, 2013 at Florida A&M University.

Due to the time that has elapsed since the passage of SB 1994 and the subsequent appointment of the Florida Polytechnic Board of Trustees, it is important to update the Board of Governors on Florida Polytechnic's progress toward the established benchmarks. Those benchmarks include expectations regarding accreditation, academic programming, staffing, student enrollment, and facilities.

Given the news reports of Florida Polytechnic's intent to request $25 million from the Legislature, I would also ask that the presentation include specific information on any perceived funding shortfalls not covered in Florida Polytechnic's initial budget or by way of exemptions granted in SB 1994.

Please provide any presentation material via email to Monoka.Venters@flbog.edu by noon on Thursday, March 14th.  We will ensure that these materials are distributed as backup information prior to the meeting.

Please contact the Board Office with any questions, and thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,
Dean Colson
Chair

For more on the controversial history of Polk County's first university, visit 10 News' interactive USF Poly/Florida Poly timeline. Don't forget to follow Florida Poly news on Facebook.

Find 10 News Investigator Noah Pransky on Facebook or follow his updates on Twitter. Send your story tips to noah@wtsp.com.

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