Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State College Fees Could Be Changing

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

State College Fees Could Be Changing

Article excerpt

PENSACOLA -- The Florida state universities charge students

the same tuition despite vast differences in size, academic

reputations and campus life.

But a philosophical change is being considered by the state

Board of Regents, one that could make it more expensive to

attend the University of Florida and other major research

schools, compared with smaller schools, including the University

of North Florida.

Chancellor Adam Herbert, the UNF president for six years, said

the university system needs to have more clearly defined

missions among the 10 universities, and a greater choice in

tuition.

The changes, contained conceptually in a five-year strategic

plan, are designed to improve academic quality at all schools

while ending duplication, Herbert said. Regents are expected to

vote on the classifications in November.

"No matter what you call it, we need a framework for the

future. We need to have some truly outstanding universities in

our system," said Regent Steven Uhlfelder.

The plan puts it this way: "The state of Florida does not need

and cannot support 10 identical, comprehensive, research

universities."

At the same time missions are being refined, the state

university system has requested greater freedom from the

Legislature in how to spend state money.

Beyond per-student allocations, the regents have requested lump

sum budgets to enhance both undergraduate and graduate

education.

The classification plan would create three groupings of

schools. Florida, Florida State and the University of South

Florida would be major research universities, intensifying their

focus on graduate-level education and national research.

If undergraduate enrollment is capped at these schools, and

tuition increased, students looking for other options will need

to have access to universities with less expensive tuition,

Herbert said.

But that concept worries academics, including some college

presidents, at universities that would focus on undergraduate

and master's level instruction. …

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