WEDNESDAY, MAY 22, 2013
Marcus Outzen -
Former Qtr back '98 Florida game and '99 Fiesta Bowl
FSU DT and star of The Biggest Loser
Coach Mickey Andrews
This was posted on Warchant. Please read and respond to your elected officials!
For some of you who were not around here three years ago, the University of Florida made an attempt via legislative fiat to install itself as the sole flagship university for the state of Florida. Historically, Florida had never had a flagship school although UF was often granted preferential treatment. Flagship universities tend to have a higher perception of prestige and typically receive more government money than non-flagship schools. Having UF as the sole flagship school in Florida would have been a huge detriment to FSU. Thanks to you, that didn't happen and FSU, along with UF and USF, is one of the flagship universities in this state as defined by Florida statute.
However, it once again appears as though UF is making a push to receive special status again from the Florida legislature. UF President Bernie Machen was set to retire, but decided against it after Gov. Rick Scott made assurances that he would help UF become a top 10 public university (they are currently 17th best PUBLIC university according to US News). No one knows exactly what Gov. Scott promised, but it almost assuredly was some promise of monetary commitment from the legislature. With Scott being extremely against tuition hikes, the only way that UF could realistically get into the top ten of public universities would be with a huge financial commitment from the legislature.
I am not saying this to sound political, but Republicans in this state are typically against tax increases of any kind. Therefore, without raising taxes or tuition, the only way to give UF more money will be to cut money from other programs or institutions. You can almost assuredly bet that the cuts will come from other state universities, including FSU. Our university has been hammered by cuts for the last five years and cutting money from FSU to give it to UF would potentially cause a permanent detriment to our university.
The propaganda campaign to assist UF has already started. There is a link to an article from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. I will provide a few snippets of it below:
The University of Florida is, after all, our state's flagship university. It commands the greatest research budget ? $740 million in annual expenditures, compared to $230 million at Florida State University, $400 million at the University of South Florida and $109 million at the University of Central Florida. Closer to home, Florida International University reports $110 million in annual research expenditures and Florida Atlantic $62 million. The first sentence is a flat out lie. UF is not Florida's flagship university. By Florida Statute, FSU, USF, and UF are all flagships. Whenever someone says this, we need to push back hard as inaccurate perceptions that are pushed repeatedly become truth in the eyes of many. Also, much of the reason UF produces more research dollars than any other school is because they are granted more money than any other school in the state. Things like Shands and IFAS are excluded from the typical university budgets.
If UF can break into the top tier, all boats will rise because in higher education, you're known by the company you keep. If UF is perceived as an elite institution, it will help other Florida universities fight the bias that we don't measure up. Again, not true. If it were true, Florida would be considered a model in the US for public university stewardship because this is what we have been doing for the last 108 years. Time and time again, UF is given more with the justification being that UF's success will help everyone else. It is a flat lie, and we need to say so. Given the politics of the university system, and FSU's prominence in the Capitol, it will be interesting to follow the governor's push to grow UF's preeminence.
We will be rooting for his success. For history tells us that if UF can break through, the competition will begin for who goes next. Lies and more lies. FSU may be in the capital, but it does not dominate the capitol. There are more UF grads in the legislature, and the state AG, CFO, and Commissioner of Agriculture (3/4 cabinet members) are all UF grads. Historically, UF has dominated the legislature and used it to accomplish what it could not on its own merits. The newspaper is also rooting for UF's success. You will see this from many newspapers in the state as UF's journalism school allows it to dominate the propaganda game in the state newspapers.
If you want to help stop this madness again, please do the following things:
1) Go to http://www.advocateforfloridastate.fsu.edu/site/PageServer?pagename=deploymenthome and sign up to be on the mailing list. The university emails out important updates and calls to action when help for FSU is needed.
2) Email Will Weatherford, Florida Speaker of the House via this link: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/emailrepresentative.aspx?MemberId=4399&SessionId=73 Most of you are probably aware of this, but Will is Drew Weatherford's brother.
3) Email your local Florida House and Senate Representatives as well as Gov. Scott and tell them you are paying close attention to this issue and that UF should not be given preferential treatment over FSU or any other state university.
4) Retort lies from local newspapers. Anytime an editorial board publishes garbage like what the Sun Sentinel wrote, email them and kindly point out to them that the facts tell a different story.
As proven with the 2010 flagship bill, when Seminoles unite to advocate for FSU, we are a powerful voice that cannot be ignored. I suspect that part of the reason we were included in the tuition preeminence legislation is that UF folks learned that if both UF and FSU want something, it is much harder to stop as compared to when UF goes it alone. However, with the Governor now seemingly becoming a UF advocate and with more Gators in the legislature, UF may feel emboldened to go back to their old ways of UF first, everyone else never.
Credit to posters NoleOne and Mac_Nole for bringing this subject up on the Academics Board.
Also, check out this link and ask the powers that be where good ole' UF falls on this list...oh wait, they don't!
For more information contact the Marion County Seminole Club at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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