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Florida Poly advocates set up lobbying group

Posted May 30, 2012 by Lindsay Peterson

Updated Jun 5, 2012 at 11:22 AM

As Florida university officials wrestle with the demands of setting up a new university in Lakeland, and meeting expectations for a Fall 2013 opening, a group of Polk County business and community leaders has created an advocacy group, called Florida Poly Vision, Inc.

Just last week a member of the state university governing board, Mori Hosseini lamented the lack of private support for the new Florida Polytechnic.

Here’s what it says on the new website, which is counting down the seconds to a virtual press conference tomorrow:

“This diverse group of more than 60 local leaders have come together to provide a much needed voice for Florida’s 12th university, while the official infrastructure is put into place to recruit the best students, educators, and academic leaders to Florida Polytechnic.”

The leaders are:
Cliff Otto, President, Saddle Creek Corporation
Victor B. Story, President, The Story Companies
Alice Hunt, Vice President, Hunt Construction of Central Florida, Inc.
Ingram Leedy, Chief Executive Officer, iThink Partners, LLC

Their spokeswoman is Sarah Bascom, a Tallahassee-based consultant who has worked for state Sen. JD Alexander, the lawmaker who pushed the bill this session that created the independent Poly.

Bascom said she’s not working for Alexander on this one. Good thing. Having a political edge could get this group in trouble with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the accrediting agency, which frowns on the use of political muscle in university program creation.

For more about tomorrow’s news conference checkout the website here.

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