http://www.flgov.com/contact_governor or (850) 488-7146 to make your feelings known.
For what it's worth, here's Gov. Crist's reasoning/clarification of his effort, that I received in some mass email he's sending around:
This week I unveiled a comprehensive proposal to reform our state
university system in a way that provides access for you and your
families while giving Florida's 11 institutions the resources and
governance they need to prepare a strong workforce for our many
businesses and industries.
Every Floridian should have access to a high-quality and affordable
higher education. As Governor, and as a graduate of Florida State
University, I am committed to supporting Florida's public colleges as
they prepare graduates for the increasingly competitive global
For decades, we have looked to Florida's universities to make our
great state better by educating future doctors, lawyers, nurses,
teachers, scientists and entrepreneurs. Many of you are graduates of
this system. Your success in life is proof of how important these
universities are to our quality of life here in the Sunshine State. As
Governor, I am committed to giving our universities the resources and
support they need to excel.
That is why I am proposing a set of reforms that will strengthen
Florida's universities now and for decades to come. By establishing
clear lines of governance at the individual institution and the state
level -- and by balancing universities' financial needs with
affordability for families -- our universities and our students can
I remain as committed as ever to keeping our universities affordable.
But I also understand that our institutions must be able to set
tuition at levels that enable them to maintain the strength and
competitiveness of their faculty and degree programs by recruiting the
best professors. My proposal balances these two ideals.
Under this proposal, the boards of trustees at each of our 11 state
universities would have the option to establish, with final approval
from the Board of Governors, a tuition plan that is higher than the
base rate charged to in-state undergraduates. This could not exceed 15
percent each year.
Base tuition would continue to be covered by the Bright Futures
Scholarship Program. Also, the tuition changes would not affect
families that have purchased contracts through the Florida Prepaid
College Plan. To help families with financial needs, 30 percent of the
differential tuition would go toward need-based aid. The remainder of
revenues would be used to retain and recruit professors and
researchers, programs that improve graduation and retention rates, and
other areas identified by the individual schools. The result will be
stronger Florida universities that prepare graduates for the
increasingly global marketplace.
My proposal also would clarify governance of the universities, by
giving individual boards of trustees the authority to oversee daily
operations and university-level matters including the selection of
presidents, budgets, and growth planning. The Board of Governors would
have authority to approve trustees' tuition requests, as well as their
requests for curriculum changes, program expansions, and long-term
A well-educated workforce opens the door to endless opportunities for
every Floridian, and for the Sunshine State. I look forward to working
with the Legislature and the higher education community to make our
universities stronger than ever.
God bless you and God bless Florida.
Receive Regular Updates from Governor Crist
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Thank you and God bless. It is a privilege and honor to serve you as