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Decision over USF Polytechnic’s separation put on hold

The Florida State University System’s Board of Governors met late yesterday to make a decision on USF Polytechnic’s attempt to split into a separate university, a decision that would make it Florida’s 12th public university. Ultimately, the Board decided to wait for an indeterminate period of time before making a final decision, setting several benchmarks the school must meet before it can come back and ask for independence.

The separation process is likely take anywhere from three to 10 years, and likely wasn’t the decision USF Poly wanted to hear. In an interview with Tampa Bay’s 10 News, an unidentified board member called it the perfect compromise, with both sides left unhappy.

USF Polytech is currently seeking separate accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, a move school officials say will enable them to offer more on-campus services for students and develop its own degree programs.

The attempt to seperate has been steeped in controversy, particularly because of a pattern of questionable spending on the part of USF Poly Chancellor Marshall Goodman. Goodman allegedly plans to spend $500,000 on a promotional video to market the school, and has been accused of hiring his son for a $50,000-a-year post at the school, before interviews for the position had even commenced. Recent reports reveal he also had a hand in the school’s decision to spend thousands on life-size Star Wars and E.T. statues.

State Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, who has been urging the school to perform a complete audit of its expenses, says he believes the Board of Governors made the “right decision for the right reasons.”

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