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Goodman replies to USF criticism of business plan

USF Polytechnic Regional Chancellor Marshall Goodman sent a letter to the Board of Governors (BOG) Monday, addressing USF’s concerns with the offshoot’s business plan for a potential transition to independence.

The letter, addressed to BOG Chancellor Frank Brogan, responded to a list of concerns emailed to the BOG last week from USF Chief Operating Officer John Long, which included criticisms of the university’s accreditation timeline and “aggressive” enrollment plan.

Goodman said the plan’s accreditation timeline, which said it would be restored by 2013, “would, by necessity, have to be revised again, as the BOG’s decision will guide (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’) counsel to the campus in terms of what needs to be done and estimate how long that will take.”

USF Polytechnic’s academic accreditation was suspended in September until a decision is made on where it stands within the State University System.

He also rebutted the claim that the proposed growth rate was “unusually high.”

The plan outlined an increase of student enrollment from 1,300 to 16,000 within 15 years – a time frame Goodman said is not unusual for institutions that add lower-level enrollment. In his letter, Goodman said the University of Central Florida increased its headcount from 1,948 to 15,648 within the same timeframe.

Goodman also said that budgetary items Long said were not included in the proposal, such as a budget for hiring a new financial aid director, were actually included in the Appendix.

In his letter, Goodman said, “We thank the University of South Florida System for their review of the business plan USF Polytechnic submitted to the Florida Board of Governors in preparation for the November meeting. This business plan was in response to the Board of Governors request at their September meeting regarding transitioning the institution to an independent university.”

The BOG will make a decision on whether USF Polytechnic should be the 12th Florida state university during its meeting at Florida Atlantic University, which will be held from Nov. 9-10.

– Staff report by Diedra Rodriguez