Despite a shaky economic atmosphere and state funding that remains “anemic,” the state of the university is strong, UF President Bernie Machen assured faculty during his State of the University address Thursday.
“Someone once said. . . summer is when laziness finds respectability,” Machen said.
But not for Gators. Over the summer, UF students and alumni broke records at the Olympics, UF researchers helped discover the Higgs boson particle and the university’s research grants totaled $644.4 million at the end of the fiscal year.
Summer also marked the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Land Grant Act, signed in 1862, which laid the foundation for UF, Machen said. It sought to provide access to a broad education and promote state and national progress.
“Access is something the university is doing quite well,” he said.
Rising tuition and student debt are threats to those tenets, Machen said. Despite that, UF has managed to keep its tuition 31 percent below the national average, and 61 percent of graduates in the class of 2010 had no debt.
Machen said his successor would have a lot to look forward to.
Of his planned departure from UF, he said, “I’m not ready to dwell on that ending yet.”
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UF President Bernie Machen addressed faculty in his annual State of the University address Thursday. Machen commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Land Grant Act, which laid the foundation for UF’s creation.