Fla. Lawmakers Face Big Hurdles In Trying To Revamp State University System

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Amid a clamor to overhaul a state university system lawmakers say isn’t cutting it, Sen. John Thrasher wants to ban lawmakers from holding jobs with public colleges and universities they fund.

Given past scandal, Thrasher said it’s best to eliminate the “conflict of interest.”

But Thrasher is the same lawmaker who, as house speaker in 2000, helped secure a new medical school at Florida State University that higher education officials resisted. Then he helped eliminate the state board that opposed it.

In a speech opening the legislative session, House Speaker Dean Cannon said Florida’s public university system is “racing toward the middle,” a hodgepodge of schools with no clear mission and overlapping agendas.

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