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What might have been for USF Poly

Posted Apr 25, 2012 by Lindsay Peterson

Updated Apr 25, 2012 at 11:46 AM

When Gov. Rick Scott signed SB 1994 creating Florida Polytechnic University and shutting down USF Polytechnic, he did something else.

He shut down USF Poly’s progress toward separate accreditation, a key step toward independence in the plan approved by the state Board of Governors in November, the plan that was trashed last week.

An official with the accrediting agency, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Ann Chard, said in an email to USF on Monday that USF Poly was very close.

“Your application was a good one and yes, I definitely agree that you could easily have responded and been well on your way to separate accreditation. It was a good application,” Chard wrote.

“You did a good job under difficult circumstances,” she added, also saying she was “at a loss for words” at what has happened, though not surprised.

The independent Florida Polytechnic University will start from scratch. SACS officials have said that it will take at least four years, and possibly more, for it to gain accreditation – which it must have before students and faculty can receive any kind of federal aid or research funding.

Chard’s email was forwarded to the USF Poly students, faculty and staff with a note from USF’s Judith Ponticell on Monday.

Ponticell wrote: “An application is based on the work of an institution – if the work is not there, the application can’t be written, let alone be successful. I know today was a difficult day and that times are uncertain, but I want to be sure that you remember it is your work, commitment and contributions that made that application possible.”

The difficulty she was referring to was the news that it costs several million more to run Poly than it will receive from the state in 2012-13 for a plan to “teach out” Poly’s students as the campus moves toward extinction.

USF officials aren’t saying yet whether there will be layoffs. Some students, faculty and staff will be able to move over to the new Poly, but no one knows, who, when or how that will happen at this point.

Not sure if it helps, but at least the folks at USF Poly – or whatever it will be called – know how close they were.

Reader Comments

Por (BCE8113) on April 26, 2012 (Suggest removal)

Lindsay, USFP staff were distinctly told at their Monday meeting with the President that layoffs would happen. There is also no option for transfer to the new Florida Poly for existing employees. It has been made clear Florida Poly will hire as it wishes. Current USFP employees will be equivalent to any other applicant.

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