Commission delivers report to governor at USF

Gov. Jeb Bush made his second visit to USF in less than a month Monday to accept a report from the One Florida Accountability Commission.

USF President Judy Genshaft was in attendance as the commission presented its report. One Florida is an initiative that was created by Bush upon his entering office and intended to create equality for minorities in the state’s educational system.

Supporters of the initiative saw it as the replacement for the aging affirmative action system. Detractors, including many minority groups, argued that the change in university acceptance procedures for minorities would undo what affirmative action had accomplished.

The accountability commission was created to numerically examine and draw conclusions about diversity in state universities. Bush asked the commission in February 2000 to prepare a report.

According to the commission’s executive summary, the results are taken from minority student percentages in the following categories: enrollment in a university or community college, advanced courses taken and passed, those in the top 20 percent of their graduating class, those who receive financial assistance and those who persist and graduate from college.

The results, which were presented to Bush on Monday, seem to suggest that One Florida has been successful in its initiatives.

“More important than the number of initiatives, it is evident that there is better coordination among state, local and private resources than was the case prior to One Florida,” the summary said.

The report further states that commission members were happy with improved recruitment procedures.

“Commission members were impressed with the greater sensitivity and commitment to the recruitment of minority students represented by the university professionals who explained their recruitment and retention programs in great detail,” the report said.

Bush accepted the report on a return visit to the scene of his May signing of school code legislation.

Liz Hurst, media relations spokesperson for the governor’s office, said she was unsure why Bush chose USF for the report acceptance.