Governor Crist Meets with student University Leaders at Tallahassee Tuesday
TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Charlie Crist today, as part of his ongoing commitment to strengthening Florida’s higher education system and economy, met with student university leaders to discuss his proposed reforms that balance the 11 state institutions’ program needs with access and affordability for families.
“Now more than ever, we must invest in our universities,” said Crist in a prepared statement. “A well-educated workforce opens the door to endless opportunities for every Floridian, and for the Sunshine State. By giving our citizens access to a world-class college degree, we are preparing them to compete in an increasingly global, competitive marketplace. The result will be a stronger Florida economy.”
Crist has made higher education a priority, as evidenced by his 2009-10 recommended budget and legislative priorities. His proposed budget includes $6 billion for higher education, to support career education, undergraduate and graduate education, and research and development.
He also is proposing a series of tuition and governance reforms aimed at strengthening the 11 state universities’ degree programs while providing students with greater access and need-based aid. Under the proposal, the boards of trustees at each university would have the option to establish, with Board of Governors approval, a differential tuition higher than the base rate charged to in-state undergraduates. The differential cannot exceed 15 percent each year. Also, 30 percent of the differential tuition revenues would go toward need-based student aid. The remainder would be used for faculty recruitment and retention, and programs to improve graduation and retention rates and other areas identified by universities.
Joining Crist and Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp today was Chris Kampert, director of the Florida Student Association.
University student body presidents attending Tuesday’s discussion were:
· J. Meyer, Florida International University
· Laymon Hicks, Florida State University
· Kevin Reilly, University of Florida
· Andrew Collins, Florida A&M University
· Greg “Butters” Morgan, University of South Florida
· Abe Cohen, Florida Atlantic University
· Sean Terwilliger, Florida Gulf Coast University
· Chase Sokolow, New College of Florida (co-president)
· T. M. Mawn, New College of Florida (co-president)
About Tallahassee Tuesdays
Tallahassee Tuesdays are informal discussions that Governor Crist hosts on a regular basis with various citizens groups and organizations, business and community leaders and other groups to hear their thoughts and ideas on a variety of issues affecting Florida.