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June 17, 2018

Up Front - The Publisher's Column

Educating Florida

Andrew P. Corty | 7/1/2011

Andy Corty
Andy Corty, Publisher

Those who consider "jobs, jobs, jobs" the immediate solution for Florida might also agree that "learn, learn, learn" is key to the state's long-term health. In fact, it's hard to find anyone — student, parent, executive, elected official, even retiree — who doesn't acknowledge the importance of education for Florida's future.

In July, Florida Trend explores higher education in Florida. Editor Mark Howard's crew has queued up fascinating material sure to further your own education about higher ed in Florida.

You will see how lower state funding is being offset by rising tuition — and it will keep rising rapidly at least through this decade. You'll learn about a push for talented international students, who pay top tuition rates. [Reven-U: Funding Higher Education]

Online education merits a full article. Is it an effective learning tool? Do online courses meet the needs of time-pressed students with multiple obligations, or are they just a way for universities to cut costs and build numbers? Will the rapid online growth continue? [Florida Colleges are Taking Academics Online]

Even as the Legislature cuts state funding, universities keep building classrooms, stadiums and dorms. How is this possible? Plush housing with kitchens, lounges, cable TV and swimming pools is de rigueur these days. But is it a wasteful extravagance? [Sweet Dreams: Trendy Dorms in Florida]

Something else to ponder: Donors were told the state would match large contributions, but the Legislature hasn't appropriated any money for this for the last four years, and the amount of money waiting for matching funds now exceeds $500 million. Is this prudent financial management? [The Lobbyists: Confronting Cutbacks]

Remember community colleges that offered only two-year associate degrees? They have morphed into the Florida College System, with most offering four-year bachelor's degrees. Learn how this monumental shift occurred and where we're headed. [A Mission Leap for Florida's Colleges]

Independent colleges and universities educate hundreds of thousands of students here annually. How can we best assure the role of the non-profits is appreciated and rewarded? [Higher Ed: Non-Profits, For-Profits and Historically Black Colleges and Universities]

I'm personally fascinated by these issues — but don't let all this talk of money and power obscure the real thrust of education. Please take an extra moment to read about some of Florida's finest professors and the impact they have on students. [Successes: Notable Professors and Departments at Florida Universities]

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For the eighth consecutive year, Florida Trend puts a focus on the state's legal leaders. The special Legal Elite section includes attorneys recommended by their peers. Each member of the Florida Bar is eligible to vote.

The 1,352 winners represent 2% of the attorneys licensed in Florida. They hail from 596 firms in 68 Florida cities. And while 112 law schools are represented, the majority studied at five law schools here — University of Florida, University of Miami, Florida State University, Stetson and Nova Southeastern.

Please note the separate lists for winners from the government and non-profit sectors and the 132 winners in the "up and comers" category for those under age 40. And make special note of the Hall of Fame, a small group of repeat winners that can only grow by 10 names per year.

Fitness update: I went to the gym a few times last month and am slowly getting back in the rythm, but that good work is offset by my M&M consumption.

— Andy Corty

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