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Saturday, December 04, 2021

 

Incoming freshmen may no longer be able to apply AP or IB coursework toward all their general education requirements, UF President Bernie Machen announced at the Faculty Senate meeting Thursday.

Machen said he is pushing Florida legislators to pass a law that would allow state universities to require nine to 10 hours of general education coursework to be taken on campus.

Department curriculum has become increasingly specialized, and students need to be exposed to more diverse coursework that emphasizes critical thinking and the humanities — integral parts of a college education, he said.

If implemented, the new requirement would not apply to transfer students.

Machen also told faculty to expect additional budget cuts next year for the fifth time in six years.

Initial figures indicate UF's budget will see a 12.5-percent cut. Machen said this percentage could change over the course of the legislative session.

The majority of the meeting was dedicated to discussing UF's proposed employee health insurance plan.

UF is seeking legislative approval to self-insure its employees, opting out of the state health care system.

Under the new program, employees would be encouraged to use UF&Shands physicians but allowed to use outside doctors as well, said Dr. David Guzick, UF's senior vice president of health affairs, who presented the change.

Many of the plan's specific details have not been determined yet, Guzick said, which prompted some concern among faculty senators.

Charles Guy, an environmental horticulture professor, presented a list of about 15 questions the plan leaves unanswered.

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"Before [the plan] is passed by the legislature, we need to know the details," he said. "You need to get the information to us before there's no going back."

 

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