Gov. Scott creates ‘blue ribbon task force’ to evaluate State University System

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With the executive charge to accelerate reform of the State University System, Governor Rick Scott today created the Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform.

“The state has a vested interest in ensuring its higher education system produces world-class talent to serve as engaged citizens and meet the demands of Florida’s emerging knowledge-based economy,” said Governor Scott. “It’s time to assess the progress of prior reform efforts and identify strategies to improve efficiencies and enhance the system’s effectiveness as an economic catalyst.”

The creation of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform follows the Governor’s recent collaboration with the Florida Legislature to expand funding for education by $1 billion. The focus on higher education reflects the Scott Administration’s emphasis on expanding Florida’s competitive advantages needed to grow the economy and create jobs.

Governor Scott’s executive order outlined expectations that the Blue Ribbon Task Force will focus on the State University System’s governance model, particularly the interaction between the Board of Governors and the individual universities. Final recommendations are to be delivered by October 31.

Governor Scott announced the Blue Ribbon Task Force’s chair, Dr. Dale A. Brill, will be joined by six members, two selected by the Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Senate President Designate Don Gaetz, two selected by House Speaker Dean Cannon and Speaker Designate Will Weatherford and two selected by the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors, Dean Colson and Mori Hosseini.

Dr. Brill currently serves as the president of the Florida Chamber Foundation and is a former full-time member of Florida State University’s faculty and previously served as the Director of the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development.

“Dr. Brill’s background combines knowledge of higher education and its role as a catalyst for economic development,” said Governor Scott. “He is a proven consensus builder who will drive the strategic thinking necessary to make a comprehensive assessment and action-oriented recommendations.”

Progress of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform can be monitored on the web at www.FLHigherEd.org andwww.facebook.com/FLHigherEd, as well as Twitter feeds available by following @FLHigherEd.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.