At the monthly faculty senate meeting on Thursday, UF provost Joe Glover explained some of the intricacies of the block tuition proposal, and how it would affect students.
"Block tuition will serve as incentive for students to make swifter progress towards graduation," he said.
He explained that students who want to take extra credits sometimes don't because they are worried about how much it will cost them.
Under the new plan, students will pay a flat rate and be allowed to take an infinite number of credits. However, that flat rate will be for a total of 15 credits, so students who only take 12 will essentially be paying for classes they aren't taking.
The tuition system will affect undergraduate students and only be effective in the Fall and Spring semesters.
Glover said UF used to implement this system until the ‘73-‘74 semester, and it started seriously considering reinstating it again seven or eight years ago. He said the current graduation rate for freshman is 58 percent in four years, and block tuition could potentially raise that 12-14 percent.
Currently, there are roughly 6,400 slots for 27,000 freshman applicants, and the faster students graduate the more slots there are for incomers.
"This is a system which is in place at many, many major universities around the country, and the students at those universities do not even think in terms of paying per credit hour," he said. "They think in terms of paying one fee for the privilege of studying at the university."
Glover said he understands some students have concerns, but he supports the proposal. The university expects to make an additional five million dollars in revenue annually from block tuition, but it's not going to be profit, Glover said. The point of the whole program is to get students to take more courses.
Also on the agenda at the faculty senate meeting was a proposal that the UF academic calendar should have a Fall Break consisting of the Wednesday - Friday of Thanksgiving week. Specifically, that there should be no classes on the Wed. before. This proposal, which will be voted on next month, would be implemented in Fall of 2012.
David Groisser, a Math professor at UF, doesn't think the proposed change to the calender is a good idea.
"It sends a signal that education is not as important as we say it is," he said. "It's 180 degrees in the wrong direction."
He proposed that the calender stay the way it is and leave the option of cancelling class up to the discretion of the teacher.