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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

UF will continue advertising for five of its 15 new faculty positions, despite Gov. Charlie Crist's proposed cut of the ,5 million recently given to UF by the Florida Legislature to fund those hires.

Steve Orlando, UF spokesman, said UF had already started its advertising for the positions when Crist announced a 6.2 percent cut from the State University System's budget.

Crist recommended the state cut a total of ,600 of state funding per student.

Florida's Board of Governors, the highest governing body for the State University System, will appeal to the Legislature for a compromise.

"We've already got the ball rolling on this," Orlando said. "We've already made plans and commitments."

UF Provost Janie Fouke said four of the first five faculty spots were reserved for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The fifth one was for the College of Health and Human Performance.

"The word is out," Fouke said. "We're not going to embarrass the university or any department."

As for the 10 other spots, Orlando said UF would wait and see if the Legislature approves Crist's recommendations.

Fouke said UF President Bernie Machen promised to get students' input on which colleges need the additional faculty the most.

She said Student Body President Ryan Moseley has already begun organizing student focus groups to examine those needs.

Moseley could not be reached for comment by press time.

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"I was hoping at the end of the month to announce where those hires would go," Fouke said. "Now I'm reluctant to guess when we're going to proceed."

In an interview Monday, Anthony De Luise, spokesman for the governor's office, said Crist had received assurance from university administrators that the cuts would not hurt enrollment.

"That's absurd," Fouke said. "I'd love to talk to whoever Crist talked to."

Fouke said limiting enrollment could be a possibility, especially when considering the pending budget cuts.

If that's what it takes to ensure quality education, it has to be done, she said.

"We're just trying to help the students," Fouke said. "We're trying to do it every way we can."

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