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Five percent tuition hike ordered by board

Setting up a possible confrontation with Gov. Charlie Crist, the Florida Board of Governors stood by their summer vote and this afternoon unanimously ordered a 5-percent tuition hike for the spring 2008 semester. Crist has been reluctant to hike tuition and he vetoed a previously approved tuition hike.

But that veto came before the board decided to assert its powers _ and to join a lawsuit in court that says the board, not the Legislature has the power to set tuition.

Most university presidents said today that they will follow the edict of the board, regardless of whether the Legislature or Crist sign off on a spring tuition hike in the upcoming special session. The tuition hike will cost full-time students who are Florida residents $55 more on their spring tuition bill.

So far the Florida Legislature appears ready to bless the tuition hike but it's unclear whether Crist will support it or oppose it.