December 2, 2023
Hurricane Ian brings chaos to Florida college students and their parents

Florida Trend Education

Hurricane Ian brings chaos to Florida college students and their parents

| 9/29/2022

Hurricane Ian brings chaos to Florida college students and their parents

As Hurricane Ian approached Florida’s west coast, prompting thousands of residents to evacuate, a wave of colleges and universities canceled classes, shut down campuses and evacuated residence halls. As of Tuesday, 31 public colleges and dozens of private institutions in the Sunshine State—including the University of Florida, Florida A&M University and the College of Central Florida—had announced they were closing their campuses for part or all of the rest of this week to prepare for the hurricane. More from Inside Higher Ed and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

PEN America report shows Florida has 2nd highest number of school-related book bans

Florida has the second highest number of school-related book bans in the country, according to an analysis published last week by PEN America, a free speech and literary organization. There are 566 book bans within 21 Florida school districts, according to the analysis. Texas was the only state with more bans at 801 across 22 districts. Jonathan Friedman, report author and PEN America's director of free expression and education programs, said in a Sept. 19 briefing the trends show book bans are a targeted effort. [Source: Florida Today]

A 'transformational' raise: thousands of public school workers see wages increase to $15 an hour

More than 15,000 workers at public schools across South Florida are in line for a raise: school districts face an Oct. 1 deadline to establish a $15 an hour minimum wage, after state lawmakers mandated the pay hike. Members of AFSCME Local 1184, which represents non-instructional staff in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, will see that raise on paychecks that went out on Friday Sept. 23. [Source: WLRN]

DeSantis wants to stop colleges from taking money from 'countries of concern'

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will propose legislation that would ban colleges in the state from accepting money from seven “countries of concern,” including China. DeSantis said the bill could also impose other restrictions or “pre-conditions” on researchers from the seven countries. The governor did not specify what those additional limitations would be. [Source: Higher Ed Dive]

Florida A&M students sue state over funding, allege discrimination of HBCUs

A group of six students at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee filed a class-action lawsuit against the state Thursday alleging decades of discriminatory underfunding of the public historically Black university. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, has many of the hallmarks of past fights in Maryland, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina for equitable treatment of public HBCUs. It alleges that the state pours more money into traditionally White institutions such as Florida State University, also in Tallahassee, and allows schools to duplicate FAMU’s academic programs. [Source: Washington Post]


› University of Florida's online greenhouse training courses are starting soon
Two of the University of Florida's greenhouse training courses will start soon. One is an intermediate-level course that teaches all aspects of weed management in nurseries and greenhouses, including weed identification, developing herbicide programs, and the latest non-chemical methods of weed control that work. The other is an intermediate-level course where you will learn to manage different hydroponics systems, as well as the fundamentals of climate, water, nutrition, and plant health in these systems.

› Three finalists picked for FGCU presidency
A search committee Monday named three finalists to succeed outgoing Florida Gulf Coast University President Mike Martin. The finalists hold university leadership positions and have deep backgrounds in higher education. Edward Morton, a Florida Gulf Coast trustee and chairman of the presidential search committee, called the finalists “accomplished, talented and innovative” in a news release.

› FSU lands world-renowned research team to bolster ‘unprecedented growth' at College of Nursing
As part of its expansion of health care and clinical research, Florida State University is adding two esteemed digital health experts with long records of funding from the National Institutes of Health to its ranks. Lisa Hightow-Weidman will begin her role as a distinguished and endowed professor on Oct. 3. Kathryn Muessig will start her role as a professor on Dec. 1. Together, they have garnered $100 million in NIH funding.

› Manager who stole nearly $13M from USF is sentenced to 10 years in prison
Ralph Puglisi, the former accounting manager who embezzled nearly $13 million from the University of South Florida, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday. Puglisi, 60, pleaded guilty last year to using company credit cards for more than $12.8 million in charges, a large portion of which went to adult websites as well as travel, home improvements, real estate, wedding costs and other expenses.

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Exceptional Student Center building opens in northwest Hillsborough
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