Feb. 20: President Genshaft Provides Budget Update
To: USF Community, Alumni, Friends
From: Judy Genshaft, USF System President
We are all deeply grateful for the outpouring of support the entire USF System has received this past week. You made the case that the USF System should be treated fairly as cuts are applied to state appropriations. And business, community and elected leaders stated clearly that the economic recovery of the Tampa Bay region needs USF. This was a tremendous help. Thank you.
This week, we are looking for solutions. Thanks to Senators Arthenia Joyner and Jim Norman, today we visited the chairman of the Senate's budget committee, Senator JD Alexander.
We had a constructive conversation. He clearly understands our goals in making sure our students are protected. Now we're working to find solutions to the remaining issues.
Our messages are clear:
- Continue to protect the students, faculty and staff of USF Polytechnic during any proposed transition to an independent polytechnic (it would cost USF in Tampa $18.1 million to absorb those positions);
- Do not cut funding for our new College of Pharmacy ($6 million);
- Treat USF fairly among the state's universities when making budget cuts caused by the state's revenue shortfall.
We will work hard for solutions that show equity for USF as a whole, and protect our students, especially at USF Polytechnic. We are encouraged that this will be resolved. But this is a marathon, not a sprint, and we have a great deal of work left. Later this week or next, the Florida Senate will consider its budget for the entire state. Because the House has already concluded its budget, the two budgets will be negotiated in Conference over the next several weeks. After that, the negotiated budget will go to the Governor for his signature.
To track the USF's progress in the budget process, please see:
Throughout this long process, we need your continued advocacy and support and we will contact you with specific requests for help during the coming weeks. Please continue to express your support for these three messages, remembering that if you’re a USF employee you can’t use state equipment, letterhead or email.
We will continue to fight for the USF System and for you. We all need to thank our many friends in the Legislature, and the Governor, for standing up for our students. Urge them to support the USF System and its importance in creating a successful future for each student, and for the region's economy.