After a 22-month stalemate, the University of South Florida and its professors have tentatively agreed on a new contract that includes raises averaging 5 percent.
The contract still must be ratified by faculty and approved by USF trustees.
"I've always said I wanted to reward the high-performing faculty and I feel we've accomplished this with this contract," said USF president Judy Genshaft.
Under the contract, USF will set aside the equivalent of 5 percent raises to be divvied up by departments based on merit, with a guaranteed 2 percent minimum for "satisfactory performers."
Summer pay, a key sticking point according to the United Faculty of Florida, was resolved in the union's favor, with the university agreeing to maintain the current summer compensation formula.
"The union is pleased that the contract guarantees academic freedom, retains summer compensation and restores the legal enforceability of our rights," said UFF president Roy Weatherford.SALARY CAP
State auditors think Florida State University owes the public some money - $65,000, to be exact.
That amount - part of FSU president T.K. Wetherell's $288,850 salary in 2003-04 - should have been paid by private sources, the auditors say.
FSU thinks they're wrong.
"We believe we are totally compliant (with) the law," Betty Steffens, FSU's general counsel, told the Tallahassee Democrat.
The disagreement revolves around a state law that caps presidential salaries at $225,000 annually. It went into effect July 1, 2003.
FSU says the law doesn't apply to Wetherell's pay because his contract went into effect in January 2003, when he took office.
The auditors say state lawmakers may have to decide who is right.INDEPENDENT MINORITIES
Florida's independent colleges usually resist comparisons with the state's public universities. We're different creatures, they say, with different goals and approaches.
But independent schools are happy to match up in one category: minority enrollment.
According to a new report, Florida's private colleges and universities enroll a higher percentage of minority students than their public counterparts, and have a higher minority graduation rate.
"Not only do we graduate minority students who enroll at our institutions, we produce more than our share of teachers, nurses, engineers and information technology specialists," said Ed H. Moore, executive director of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida.
Forty-four percent of the 65,771 students currently enrolled in the state's 28 independent colleges are minorities. That compares to 36 percent at the state's 11 public universities.
The report says minority students earn 40 percent of the diplomas at independent schools, compared to 30 percent at Florida's public universities.RED, WHITE AND GREEN
The Bank of America is so happy with its recent $33-million bond deal with the University of South Florida that it will foot the bill for putting hundreds of U.S. flags in the school's classrooms.
USF needs private money to comply with a new state law that requires the display of a 2- by 3-foot flag in every public classroom in Florida.
The bank, which recently partnered with USF on a bond deal that allowed for the construction of two new research buildings, is happy to oblige.
"We see the donation of these flags as both a needed item as well as a legacy of our relationship," said Steve Raney, a Bank of America executive.
The price tag for the gift: $2,100.CALENDAR
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA
Nov. 12USF presents the MFA Symposium: "Surviving the Image: Representing Death," featuring keynote speakers and award-winning filmmakers Michelle LeBrun, Jayce Salloum, and CoCo Schrijber. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Marshall Center Room 270, USF Tampa campus. Free. For more information, call (813) 974-2323. UNIVERSITY OF TAMPA
Nov. 29UT presents the Honors Program Symposium: "John Brown and the Insanity Defense," featuring Dr. James Beckman, assistant professor of law and justice. 4:15 p.m. Macdonald-Kelce Library AV Room 2, UT campus. Free. For more information, call (813) 250-7273.