A 13th University? A Look at the ‘Next Frontier’ in Florida Higher Education Reform

By: Eric Giunta | Posted: September 4, 2012 3:55 AM, Sunshine State News

While the new heads of committees and the agenda for the 2013 session have yet to be determined, there are signs that next year’s education battles in the Florida Legislature will center around the state university system, as lawmakers debate how to raise much-needed funds and whether to create the Sunshine State’s first online university.

Ryan Duffy, spokesman for House Speaker-designate Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, was mum on details, but told Sunshine State News that higher education was shaping up to be “the next frontier” in Florida education reform.

“Speaker-designate Weatherford is traveling around the state and in his district, to get input from the people,” Duffy said. “We’re nowhere near having worked out a detailed agenda, but we definitely want to expand access to higher education and make it more affordable.”

A step in that direction is likely to be a proposal for the Legislature to create Florida’s 13th public university, but don’t expect any of the state’s major metropolitan centers to vie for the opportunity to host it. Weatherford’s proposed university wouldn’t be made of brick or mortar, but the virtual reality of cyberspace.

Read more on the Sunshine State News website.


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