The University of South Florida logo (Pic via cee.eng.usf.edu)

The State University System of Florida’s Board of Governors will meet tomorrow at Florida Atlantic University to vote on USF Polytechnic’s request to split off from USF Main, and become an independent campus. In a letter sent to State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan, state Sen. Mike Fasano has asked that the board to not approve the campus at this time.

USF Polytech is currently seeking separate accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a move school officials say will enable them to offer more on-campus services for students and develop its own degree programs.

Fasano and fellow state Sen. Paula Dockery recently called for an audit of USF Poly, following reports that the school’s chancellor, Marshall Goodman, may have mishandled school funds. Goodman allegedly spent $500,000 on a promotional video to market the school, and has been accused of hiring his son for a $50,000-a-year post at the school, before interviews for the position had even commenced.

“The letter will ask the Board of Governors to vote against the campus for a number of reasons, including the overall cost of such a project, the ability to attract competent teachers, and the ability of programs to attract enough students to make the campus viable,” Fasano aide Greg Giordano says. “The senator is very concerned that the vote is taking place less than two months before the start of the 2012 legislative session. Right now there is an expected $2 billion shortfall in the state budget. He is concerned how Florida can afford a new university all while trying to keep priority services and programs intact.”

Fasano argues that not enough study has been done to determine the viability of the campus. ”USF Main has been critical of the plan and its concerns should be looked at and given great consideration,” says Giordano. “Until important questions can be answered, the Board should not move forward with the campus.”

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