USF could forfeit faculty quality after Lakeland additions
Florida Polytechnic University and its creation and maintenance have been a point of contention in the state since Senate Budget Committee Chairman JD Alexander began his pursuit to create it. Now, with the former USF Lakeland campus officially becoming a university of its own, a more pressing issue surfaces: faculty members.
Though it is crucial to provide the existing Lakeland campus faculty with fair opportunities to continue their positions, it is not worth forfeiting the possibility of higher-quality faculty because of a state bill that could potentially harm USF Tampa students.
As early as next semester, USF Polytechnic faculty members could start being absorbed into the USF Tampa faculty, and by June 30, all faculty members at the former Lakeland campus will be placed within the USF system in the appropriate department.
The state bill has allocated a recurring $10 million, five-year budget to USF to ensure that the Lakeland students receive their degrees, but that amount likely will not be sufficient. Additional costs of maintaining the faculty will also be covered, which will most likely be needed since the Polytechnic payroll was about $18 million, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
But this money does not account for the long-term effects of the transition. According to the USF Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, the university hired 99 new faculty members in 2011-12, which was significantly less than the 169 new faculty in 2009-10.
While including Lakeland faculty on the Tampa campus might seem justifiable, it raises questions as to the departments abilities to hire new faculty other than those within the USF System. Though there are myriad reasons for such a drop in the number of newly hired faculty, the recent state budget cut of $36.9 million serves to further limit hiring ability.
Moreover, maintaining these faculty members over a long period of time necessitates a budget, and their presence fills positions that could be filled by other, external professors.
Elizabeth Bird, Faculty Advisory Council representative on the Board of Trustees, said to The Oracle that most of the 2,074 Tampa faculty members will not be affected.
Nonetheless, it is important to take into account the changes faced by Lakeland campus faculty members. Providing them with opportunities in Tampa offers much-needed stability.
Though many of the members of the Lakeland faculty are likely quality members, in the long run they may limit the universitys ability to bring in quality faculty from outside of the USF system. It is unfair to sacrifice the possibility of bringing in quality, external faculty as a result of a state action that could potentially be harmful to students.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More usforacle News Articles
Recent usforacle News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR USFORACLE
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST USFORACLE NEWS
- Report: Guerrero adds to growing list of basketball transfers
- Strong announces Childs has been dismissed from team
- Tampa still needs improvement for LGBT rights
- Pitching carrying USF baseball's hot start
- Viola Davis lecture moved to Sun Dome
- Cancer survivor to speak at TEDxUSF
- Childs arrested for involvement in road rage shooting
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- The Importance of Protecting Patents
- Zulily Helps Moms Navigate the "Fourth Trimester" in Style
- Veteran Raises Capital Via Alternative Financing
- Stop Pests This Spring With These Safe, Simple Steps
- Have a Blast This Spring Break With These Must-Have...
- Seniors Find That Doing Good Is Good For You
- University Students Take Top Honors at CME Group's Annual...
- Telecom and Cloud Service Options Expand in Africa
- Depression Sufferers Find Hope With New Sound Technology
- Going With Your Gut -- Virtual Colonoscopy Simplifies...
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- Deadline Approaching for Phi Kappa Phi Award Programs
- Applications Available for Phi Kappa Phi Student Leadership Summit
- GREEN AMERICA: ONE MILLION TREES COULD BE SAVED EACH YEAR IF UNIVERSITIES SWITCHED TO ONLY RECYCLED PAPER FOR ALUMNI MAGAZINES
- Deadline Approaching for the Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship Program
- Entries Are Open for 9th Annual SVG/NACDA College Sports Media Awards