JD Alexander demands records, investigation of USF

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Accusing University of South Florida officials of instigating a campaign to make USF Polytechnic look bad during its effort to become independent, Sen. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, is asking State University System Board of Governors chair Ava Parker to investigate the “actions of USF leadership,” including President Judy Genshaft and several members of the university’s board of trustees, reports the News Service of Florida. He also requested documents related to travel costs, foundation gifts and other records related to the new Polytechnic science and technology building, which is a cornerstone of the new campus. Alexander was key to getting a $35 million state appropriation for that building. “It appears it was the intent of USF’s leadership to mislead the Board of Governors and the public about President Genshaft’s personal involvement and responsibility through the negotiation and procurement process” for the new building, Alexander said. He alleges USF officials made it seem like the USF Polytechnic Chancellor Marshall Goodman made all the decisions about the new building, its design, and its architect, when in fact the USF System approved these decisions. This letter is the first shot in a more public war Alexander is waging against the USF System on behalf of USF Polytechnic, a university he has nurtured for many years and that is now on its way to becoming independent.

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.