Polytechnic purchases $10,000 sci-fi statues

Darth Vader, Captain Kirk and E.T. are among the latest characters to join the saga of USF Polytechnic’s financial decisions.

USF Polytechnic spent $10,000 on four life-size statues of the science-fiction staples, according to The Ledger.

A USF memo obtained by The Ledger states: “These items are necessary to encourage the creative culture for business development partnered successes.” The items were bought and meant for display in the business incubators, according to The Ledger.

For a $950 fee, the E.T. statue was appraised at $3,800, Captain Kirk at $2,200, Darth Vader at $7,200 and a “Star Wars” stormtrooper at $8,200.

The statues would provide “inspiration beyond conventional thought,” the memo said.

The new purchases arrive amidst much scrutiny of Polytechnic’s newest business plan. The Florida Board of Governors (BOG) is scheduled to vote on Polytechnic’s separation Wednesday.

However, USF’s chapter for the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) issued a resolution to BOG on Sunday to postpone for at least one year the vote that would possibly grant the Lakeland campus independence.

According to a press release, UFF wants the BOG to consider the recommendation so the “University System (can) conduct a thorough, objective, public, fact-based analysis of the issues and impacts to support a rational future decision that is best for both schools and all concerned parties.”

They stated the split was “politically driven and is not in the best interests of education for our country and region.”

The resolution follows a survey conducted by UFF, in which 214 Polk County citizens expressed support to delay the vote.

– Reporting by Diedra Rodriguez