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May 28, 2018

Education - Florida Newsmakers of the Year

Mark R. Howard | 1/1/2011

Chancellor, State University System

Frank Brogan
[Photo: Ray Stanyard]

Frank Brogan would have been a significant newsmaker in 2010 if his only accomplishment were the resolution of the 3-year-old lawsuit by the Board of Governors of the State University System against the state Legislature over tuition rate-setting authority. Brogan had made the withdrawal of the suit a priority upon taking the chancellor's job in late 2009. His successful lobbying of both the board of governors and lawmakers should improve the overall relationship between the schools and lawmakers. One good sign: The Legislature, which had slashed the universities' budgets with abandon in the previous two years, held cuts to about 1% in 2010 — and also provided $10 million for Brogan's New Florida competitive grant program.

Brogan also entrenched himself as advocate-in-chief for more funding for higher education in Florida. With a detailed top-to-bottom knowledge of the state's entire educational system, he has argued that a big investment in colleges and universities could help "slingshot" the state out of the recession and position it for leadership in education and research.

Also in 2010, Brogan instituted a planning and accountability framework for the university system, along with other measures aimed at improving communication inside the tangled higher-ed governance system, where roles are still not comfortably defined among the Legislature, state Board of Education, Board of Governors and local college and university boards of trustees. The state has a long way to go, but 2010 saw Brogan emerge as a positive force in helping clarify a vision that's been lacking.

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