New Report Says Florida Higher Education System Isn't Focusing On Undergraduates

By: Heather Waliga Email
By: Heather Waliga Email

A consultant hired to evaluate Florida's higher education system says the university system is in shambles.

The study by a Stamford, Connecticut-based group, says the state's public universities are focusing too much on glitzy research and professional programs and not enough on undergraduates.

The study concludes the state's current system is disorganized with too many undistinguished universities going their own ways.

It also says the system is headed for bankruptcy because of low tuition rates and the high-cost of the Bright Futures Scholarships.

One of the key proposals recommends universities join a sub-system that would focus solely on undergraduates.

However, according to Gulf Coast Community College President, Bob McSpadden, a similar proposal in the late 1990's fell flat because colleges and universities didn't want to become mediocre.

McSpadden predicts a change in the near future. "I think you will see more and more community colleges develop into the California model where you have universities, state colleges, and very large community colleges. So my own guess is that's the way the problem will develop," he explains.

The consultant says the school system has some difficult choices to make ahead of them.

The board of governors will meet next week to discuss the report.


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