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Incoming Speaker Weatherford speaks at USF conference on college access

Posted May 11, 2012 by Lindsay Peterson

Updated May 11, 2012 at 03:19 PM

Incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford outlined his vision for higher education today at USF.

It’s online.

Weatherford spoke at the Florida Goal 2025 College Access & Success Summit, presented by the Florida College Access Network.

Weatherford, left, is a Republican from Wesley Chapel

It’s not the first time he’s talked in public about online learning.

In January, he came to the state university Board of Governors meeting to say Florida should create an online university.

“Technology has brought with it ‘disruptive innovations’ for higher education and we should embrace it with open arms,” Weatherford wrote in a letter to the board.

An online university would have no statues or football teams. “Yet what it lacks in traditions, it more than makes up with innovation, a student-centered approach, limitless knowledge resources, and lower costs.”

At USF today, Weatherford was careful to say that online learning won’t replace traditional universities, but it will make higher education more accessible to people.

You can read more about this in a USF News report by Peter Howard.

Weatherford’s online idea is likely to gain traction, considering he will run the Florida House of Representatives next year.

If anyone wondered, state Sen. JD Alexander showed what a powerful lawmaker can do, with his successful bill this year to severe USF from its Polytechnic campus to create an independent university in Lakeland.

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