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Dockery wants Scott to visit USF Poly before making decision on split bill

We told you about the hundreds of people lobbying Gov. Rick Scott on the bill to split USF Poly off into the state's 12th university -- with two-thirds against it. Add to that list Republican Sen. Paula Dockery, a longtime critic of the split idea whose district includes the Lakeland campus. 

Dockery sent a letter to Scott's office this week asking him to visit the campus USF Poly currently shares with Polk State College before making a decision on whether it's ready to split. Dockery has pointed to the branch campus's 1,300 students -- the majority of which are not enrolled in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) that the new university is supposed to specialize in -- as evidence that the school isn't ready for independence.

"These students and faculty members are the ones who will be directly affected," Dockery wrote. "They, like the overwhelming majority of constituents who have contacted my office, are hoping you veto this legislation, and move more cautiously toward independence.

"As the senator who represents the Lakeland community, I can assure you that most of my constituents support a Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics program and a Polytechnic, but they do not support immediate independence and losing the USF presence that Polk County has enjoyed for the past 23 years. There are a few individuals, with financial interests, who are pushing this irresponsible plan to rush the process of creating the 12th university but they are certainly in the minority."

The idea to turn USF Polytechnic into Florida Polytechnic was championed by Sen. JD Alexander, R-Lake Wales. The Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system, voted in November to allow the campus to split off -- but only after meeting certain benchmarks, including increased enrollment in STEM fields and separate accreditation from USF.

SB 1994 would bypass that plan and split the school off right away. 

Scott has not yet received the bill, nor has he made up his mind about whether to sign or veto it, he says.

Comments

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Anti-Tallahassee

If Scott is as principled as he claims to be, he wouldn't have to think very hard about vetoing this piece of garbage legislation. He would also veto the toll road to JD's back yard. However, I believe his desire to be like and to win re-election are beginning to out-weigh his principles - just as his desire to be rich was more important than following the law at Columbia/HCA.

Mplp

Gov Scott needs to go!

Please go and sign the Petition below! and pass it on to everyone you know.

If the address below does not work go to Google and type in: Signon Florida Right of Recall.

http://signon.org/sign/florida-right-of-recall?source=mo&id=34247-17237865-MexV3Ix

Harrison Teeter

Senator Dockery's comments are moot. The current Poly students, faculty, and staff will be absorbed by USF. President Genshaft has stated that she now supports this plan because USF will receive annual stipends of $10 million per year to absorb the students, faculty, and staff. Therefore, those that will be "directly affected" are clearly being taken care of. Senator Dockery is trying to make an issue where there is none.

Further, USF Polytechnic's budget has been, for years, a separate line item - separate from USF Tampa - in the state's overall budget. The Senate bill intends to take USF Polytechnic's budget - which is separate and distinct from USF Tampa - and transfer it to the new university. The new university is not going to cost taxpayers anymore dollars than they have already been paying for years. Those that would have taxpayers believe they would have to pay above and beyond what they are already paying are intentionally misrepresenting fact.

The creation of an independent polytechinc is supported by many. Senator Dockery's continued efforts to derail the will of the Legislature and the support of President Genshaft can be characterized as the desperate attempts of a lawmaker, whose time in the spotlight, is coming to a sad end.

Stop J.D. Alexander

Paula Dockery is right on the money. The students and the people of Polk County are not behind this piece of legislation put forth by J.D. Alexander. He does NOT speak for the people in this matter and is only representing himself and a few others who seek to benefit from this. If Gov. Scott truly believes in fiscal responsibility, he will surely recognize that this move does not make good financial sense with the status of the economy and the cutbacks already being required for the universities that are currently in place. Thank you Sen. Dockery for representing the true voice of the people in this matter!

Injel

Thought you gentlemen soulhd see how smath thinking is affecting Mintz!Deborah Moltisanti, PrincipalWe took smath to the extreme today during our viewing of Snow Buddies this afternoon and wanted to share with you. Our students found science concepts such as: sound energy (a bell ringing), camouflage (a white dog in the snow), physical change (ice melting), and chemical change (baking cookies). They found math concepts such as estimating the number of letters to Santa in the mailbag, measurements (heights of characters), and Christmas lights around the perimeter of a billboard. However, our favorite was How fat is Santa? What is his mass? from one of our boys.Hope you enjoy,Sarah and Sabrina

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