Unless lobbying efforts in Tallahassee are successful – Florida Gulf Coast University will get only about half the money it needs for new students next year. It’s often called “enrollment growth funding.”
The university requested 4-million dollars to pay for its expected 12-percent enrollment increase. But, as it currently stands, FGCU will only get about half.
More than 140 new students are expected to attend next year…bringing the total student body to nearly 75-hundred.
University President – Dr. Bill Merwin – says the effects of a shortfall would be felt on campus…
“If we don’t get the money it means that there are fewer sections of classes offered for students to get the courses they need to graduate on time. Probably more part-time faculty, rather than full-time faculty…class section sizes get a little bit larger…so my plea is to get our legislators to say, lets fund all those new students who are coming into institutions around the state…and especially into southwest Florida.”
FGCU’s not alone…so far lawmakers have agreed only to pay for about half of ALL state universities’ enrollment growth.
But, Dr. Merwin says he’s hopeful the funding outlook will change… citing the state’s recent $2 billion surplus.
“Well we’re encouraged by the windfall…the 2.2 billion dollars that was recently identified…that was given the legislators…and so they’re trying to figure out where to spend that, and I have some suggestions for them…of course, my suggestion would be FGCU.”
Of course, many other parties are also vying for the money.
Increased sales tax revenue from hurricane repairs – and taxes on record-setting home sales – have given legislators an extra $2.2 billion.
President Merwin says no matter how much FGCU gets from the state – capping enrollment at the rapidly growing university is not an option.
Thursday, 21 April 2005 01:00