It was no secret that the passing of Amendment 9 would result in significant budget cuts for USF. Nevertheless, the university approved significant raises for President Judy Genshaft and head football coach Jim Leavitt.
As a result of the $111-million cut from the State University System budget, students will experience a 12.5 percent increase in tuition and a significant cutback in class offerings. The state needs the money to implement a new plan to lower K-12 class sizes since the amendment was passed. In order to make the plan work, the money must come from somewhere. Genshaft’s and Leavitt’s raises — which will total millions of dollars over the course of several years — aren’t timely and don’t help the situation, as USF stands to suffer more than $20 million in cuts.
If the BOT was able to find money for these raises, they should find a way to stretch the new budget so that the quality of the education the students will receive isn’t affected, especially since the students will be paying more for it.
The school needs money to function properly, and hopefully the BOT is developing a plan to keep the education standards at USF where they have always been. Universities statewide shouldn’t suffer because the K-12 school system is being helped. Eventually, those students being helped by smaller class sizes will end up in sub-standard universities.
Transfer student enrollment may be affected, but graduate students and freshmen will feel the least impact. In order to still appear as a growing university and receive funding, the school must continue to accept new students. Also, graduate student numbers should be maintained because the school is a research university, and eliminating those students would reduce the amount of research being conducted. However, the education they receive will be substandard.
The numbers speak for themselves. When the university accepts the same number of students but has less money to spend on each of them, the quality of the education will obviously decline.
Overall, while the Florida school system may improve because of the new class-size amendment, the education offered by Florida’s universities will decrease in quality. So, when these well-educated students graduate from high school, they may be disappointed with the options they have for their post-secondary education.