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Monday, June 24, 2013

Going to a PUBLIC college in Florida (or any other state)?

FLBOG

If you want to know about more than how your school’s sports teams are doing on (or off Winking smile) the field, check out what the Florida Board of Governors (FLBOG) is asking Florida’s public universities! FLBOG governs the State University System of Florida. In that role, the Governors have the statutory right and responsibility to ask tough questions that you ought to ask while (and especially before) you attend one of these schools! As a matter of fact, each state has a comparable governing body such as the Indiana Commission for Higher Education where I spent most of my academic career.

Recently, The Florida Channel broadcast a recent meeting during which university administrators presented their work plans for the coming year to FLBOG’s Strategic Planning Committee:

Since my daughter will be applying to several Florida public higher-education institutions during the coming year, I watched with great interest so let me give you some idea of what I learned. First, I learned about a school of which I was not aware (especially since I have only lived in Florida for almost three years), but I was impressed by the uniqueness of the New College of Florida (NCF) which is “small but mighty” as one of the Governors expressed during the “Q and A” after NCF presented its work plan! As a matter of fact, it was fascinating to note the Governors’ attitudes as well as the responses of the university administrators to the Governors’ questions and comments. This is especially revealing to me because I am not very familiar with these schools but I suspect that even long-term Florida residents would find them revealing as well. Second, I confirmed my “worst fears” about another school which I had already learned from a different source. If you want to know the rest of that story, ask me about it in a comment and I will reply. Finally, I learned about new initiatives already underway at schools which my daughter is considering which may either help us to differentiate the schools when it comes time to choose as well as to get more return on our investment in higher education. For example, the University of Florida’s Innovation Academy (IA) has a unique spring-summer semester schedule with additional opportunities during the fall and throughout the year to become actively engaged in strategic innovation, creative problem solving, entrepreneurship, and interdisciplinary collaboration. I wonder how many of UF’s current students are aware of IA?

In any case, I encourage prospective and current students of Florida public universities as well as their parents and other (Florida) taxpayers to take advantage of this opportunity to make college “worth it” (look for future posts about the value of a college education)!

In the meantime, I am sharing my Florida higher education notes publicly via Evernote.

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