November 29, 2021
Universities face constraints amid COVID-19 surge

Florida Trend Education

Universities face constraints amid COVID-19 surge

| 9/2/2021

Universities face constraints amid COVID-19 surge

The heads of some Florida universities are reminding students and faculty that campus leaders’ “hands are tied” when it comes to taking steps to try to curb the spread of COVID-19 and are trying to work around limitations as the academic year is underway. However, it appears unlikely that university presidents will get increased authority to move forward with stricter COVID-19 policies. [Source: News Service of Florida ]

Florida education department’s COVID-19 plan should be more aggressive, doctors say

A one-page information graphic outlining the Florida Department of Education’s recommendations on how school districts should combat COVID-19 was sent out to superintendents earlier this month, but it fails to include what medical experts conclude are the most effective mitigation strategies. Doctors who spoke to News4Jax said what is on the chart amounts to a very relaxed version of the current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Source: WJXT]

Column: Too often for-profit charters fall short on student success and transparency

America’s public schools provide the foundation for economic opportunity and mobility for individuals in every zip code across America and are vital to our nation’s economic success and ability to compete globally. Yet, our public school students and local communities are being intentionally undermined by for-profit charter school corporations and the politicians that support them. While some charter schools can point to student success, oversight, accountability, and adherence to federal civil rights law are uneven at best, particularly in Florida. [Source: Florida Times-Union]

Florida education commissioner won’t pay school board members requiring masks

Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran has announced that the Department of Education has withheld the monthly school board member salaries in Alachua and Broward counties. Both districts implemented a mandatory face mask policy that, according to Corcoran, violates parental rights by not allowing a parent or legal guardian an opt-out for their child as required by the Florida Department of Health. [Source: WFLA]

University of West Florida and Miami Dade College partner to enhance cybersecurity workforce development

The University of West Florida and Miami Dade College announced a partnership that aims to expand cybersecurity workforce development in Florida, signing a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday, August 31, at MDC Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami. "The power of higher education is found in collaborative partnerships between world-class institutions," said UWF President Martha D. Saunders. "By teaming up with Miami Dade College, we can combine our most valuable resources to provide a seamless articulation pathway for a large student population and meet state workforce needs in cybersecurity." [Source: Florida Trend]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Embattled Florida law school faces another professor pay suit
A law professor at beleaguered Florida Coastal School of Law has sued the school accusing it of never making good on the salary increase she was promised when she was appointed associate dean for academic affairs in 2017. Stacy Scaldo’s complaint, filed late last week in Florida state court, marks at least the third time Florida Coastal has been hit with a lawsuit by a faculty member since 2018.

› University of Florida to bring graduate campus to Palm Beach County
Calling it a decision that will benefit future generations, Palm Beach County approved a deal to bring a University of Florida graduate campus to West Palm Beach. Officials believe the partnership with the country’s sixth-ranked public university, which in turn will bring thousands of highly skilled graduate students to the area, will eventually allow Palm Beach County to attract more high-tech companies and jobs.

› Six FSU professors receive McKnight Junior Faculty Fellowships
Six Florida State University assistant professors have received the Florida Education Fund’s (FEF) McKnight Junior Faculty Fellowship, a program that promotes excellence in teaching and research by underrepresented minorities and women. Fellows receive a one-year sabbatical to engage in research and training projects related to securing tenure and promotion.

› Palm Beach nonprofits hand out $70K in scholarship awards to children of town employees
More than $70,000 in scholarship money was handed out to children of Town of Palm Beach employees at the recent Town Council meeting. During a virtual presentation on Aug. 10, Mayor Danielle Moore read the names of 33 students who received scholarships from four nonprofit organizations within the town. Some students received more than one scholarship.

Trend Mention

Mention ImageUF research spending at record $942.2 million in 2020 despite pandemic

UF Research spending reached a record $942.2 million in fiscal year 2020, despite a two-month pause in most operations due to the pandemic. According to a new report to the National Science Foundation, research expenditures supported by the federal government increased to $397.2 million, while state and local expenditures increased to $169.2 million. Learn about ongoing UF research in areas such as Alzheimer’s, early childhood learning and agriculture.

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