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More pulls in JD Alexander's tug-of-war over USF's polytechnic dispute

The St. Petersburg Times' Kim Wilmath continues to chronicle the growing tensions between Sen JD Alexander and University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft over the simmering dispute about whether to separate Alexander's legacy project, a polytechnic university in his hometown, from USF. Time is running out for Alexander to use his position as Senate budget chief as leverage against the university -- he's term limited out of office next year.

In a story today, Genshaft said she isn't rattled by Alexander's pressures or the tug-of-war emerging as UF president Bernie Machen joined in to side with Alexander.

Earlier this month, the Florida Board of Governors voted to require the University of South Florida Polytechnic to meet strict benchmarks before gaining independence, a move that freezes the Lakeland school's efforts to break away from the USF system. The vote came at the end of a four-hour debate, with impassioned arguments coming from power players on both sides. Full story here.

A week later, Alexander stood to the side of the room as Genshaft spoke to faculty at her embattled Lakeland campus. Just a day earlier, Alexander had publicly lashed out at Genshaft's leadership in a scathing letter to the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system. Now he was making a surprise visit to a meeting Genshaft called with USF Polytechnic faculty.

Those there said Alexander remained silent the whole time — his presence speaking volumes.

It further evidenced the simmering tension between the two sides in the USF Poly-split debate: Genshaft, who says she's working toward benchmarks laid out by state higher education leaders for the campus' eventual independence; and Alexander, who has hinted that if USF doesn't play ball, he'll find another institution to sponsor the Lakeland school's separation. Full story here. 


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University of SOUTH Florida not University of CENTRAL Florida!!!
Don't you copy edit and have an editor?

Johnny Hothead

Dear Anonymous, your comments look ridiculous now that Mary Ellen has gone in and amended her story. But, to your question...No, the media is so broke these days they can't afford anyone to review their work. Hence mistakes such as those you articulated...

joe blow

JD has totally gone off his meds! The more he attempts to bully people the more everyone sees him for what he really is, a spoiled brat who thinks he can push people around because he's a big bad State Senator in charge of appropriations.
Newsflash to JD: you're term limited, you're family just fired you as head of the business and you're NOT going to be the President of USF Poly.
Poor JD will have to go back to the farm and hang with his illegals.
It's been nice knowing you JD. Have you ever read Cindarella. Looking forward to March 11!

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