Students are unsure of what could happen if the Florida Legislature passes a bill to merge UF and Florida Polytechnic University.
The proposed bill passed in the Florida House Education Committee. If the legislators pass it, it would merge Florida Polytechnic University with UF and also the New College of Florida with Florida State University. The reason for the possible merger is to save on costs, Rep. Susan Valdes, D-Tampa, wrote in an email. It would bring the number of 12 public universities in Florida down to 10.
Florida Polytechnic University and New College of Florida both have high administrative costs compared to the low costs of UF and FSU, Valdes, who is on the committee, wrote. But Valdes also wrote that the bill has only received opposition on her end.
“Trying to control costs is a reasonable and worthwhile endeavor,” Valdes wrote. “But we should look at all the options for doing so before undertaking an action this drastic.”
UF spokesperson Steve Orlando declined to comment about UF’s stance in this merger.
Florida Polytechnic spokesperson Lydia Guzmán said the university opposes the merger because the additional costs of the school have a positive impact on the university’s STEM educational opportunities.
“It would be a profound mistake, for our current and future students — and for the state of Florida — to diminish Florida Poly’s role in meeting this important state objective,” Guzmán said
Contact Stephany Matat at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @StephanyMatat.