Genshaft to address USF economic status

It’s been a “rough” two years for USF because of a 29 percent reduction in state money allocated to the University, said University spokesman Michael Hoad.

The University has had to find other ways to subsidize the reduced support, which has amounted to a $96 million loss in the last two years, he said.

USF President Judy Genshaft will discuss “what it means” for the school in her University Address today at 3 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom, Hoad said.

State Legislature increased undergraduate tuition by 7 percent at all state universities this year and allowed schools to raise tuition by another 8 percent.

USF increased tuition to the state-allowed cap for the 2009-10 academic year – a total of 15 percent – to make up for the loss of state money, Hoad said. Despite the decrease in funds, he said there were no layoffs at the University.

The University received $15.1 million from the federal stimulus package for the 2009-10 academic year to ease the effects of lessened support, but that money will only last 18 months, Hoad said.

“USF will have to be very careful for the next two years,” he said. “We’ve done better than other institutions.”

Genshaft’s speech will also focus on the possibility of all three USF regional campuses – Sarasota-Manatee, St. Petersburg and Polytechnic – receiving separate accreditations, Hoad said.

This may help enrollment growth across the USF system, which could mean increases in tuition money received by the University, he said.

“(It’s about) the primary ability to develop a set of degrees so (students) don’t have multiple classes at different campuses,” Hoad said.