The business-oriented Sunshine State News reviewed evolving proposals for changes in higher education policies in a recent article. The report leaves little doubt that the coming legislative session will be a turbulent one for the state higher education institutions and their faculties:
After ending teacher tenure and launching performance-based pay programs at Florida’s K-12 schools, Gov. Rick Scott is setting his sights on higher education. The challenge to entrenched powers at the ivory tower could make the 2011 Legislature reform fight look like a a dustup in the kindergarten sandbox.
Professors might challenge an assertion made by long-time higher ed activist Steve Uhlfelder, that “Professors really run the university.” If that is the basis for the present drive for reform, then it is important to straighten out this impression quickly, before the debate starts in earnest.
A silver lining for faculty in the natural sciences from Mr. Uhlfelder: On the subject of “quality-focused reforms”, he said “The hard sciences are already well-disciplined.”