Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
To trim costs, FSU will not grow
The university president says lack of funding and a tuition veto force changes.
By STEVE BOUSQUET AND SHANNON COLAVECCHIO-VAN SICKLER
Published June 16, 2007
TALLAHASSEE - It just got a lot harder to get into Florida State University, and administrators say would-be Seminoles can thank elected officials -- including FSU's most powerful graduate, Gov. Charlie Crist.
In the wake of Crist's recent 5 percent tuition veto and following years of insufficient state funding, FSU president T.K. Wetherell announced Friday he is freezing enrollment at the state's fourth-largest university. The freeze is the most dramatic of several cost-cutting measures that will significantly affect students and faculty.
Library and computer labs will close earlier, and students will have to pay higher fees for some services like copies of transcripts. Faculty will have to take on larger course loads. Some maintenance and repairs will just have to wait.
Wetherell said the changes are unfortunate but necessary given elected officials' recent actions -- including the property tax reform package that legislators passed Thursday. Critics fear it will result in $7.1-billion less for public schools over five years.
Tuition covers only about a quarter of the cost of a public university education, so Florida's 11 institutions depend on state dollars to make up the difference.
"Unknown outcomes of the property tax reform that just passed yesterday are likely to have serious effects on higher education," Wetherell told reporters. "You can't keep taking more students and getting less money and provide the students with the quality education the students want.
"Something's got to give, guys."
So Wetherell will freeze enrollment at his 40,000-student Tallahassee institution, while making it more difficult for next year's crop of applicants to get in.
Already, it's not easy to earn the garnet and gold T-shirt: Of the 30,000 who applied to FSU for freshman admission this coming fall, only about 6,000 got in. And about 1,000 of this year's freshman are not being supported with state dollars.
Universitywide, the change means that instead of accepting 9,300 freshman, transfer and graduate students in 2008, FSU will accept about 7,500, said provost Larry Abele.
State university leaders for years have complained that tuition is too low and state dollars too meager to cover the cost of a quality higher education.
But the governor's veto, plus the Legislature's failure this spring to budget $17-million for new students, amounted to the final straw for some.
Wetherell avoided direct criticism of Crist during his news conference Friday, but he remains disappointed with the veto.
"Somebody vetoed a tuition bill," said Wetherell, an FSU graduate and former Democratic speaker of the House from Daytona Beach. "We're not here to cast political aspersions."
He did point out that as a result of the veto, FSU has the second-lowest tuition and fees of the 75 major public universities in the United States. Only the University of Florida is lower, according to a USA Today survey.
UF president Bernie Machen is considering a universitywide hiring freeze and will make an announcement next month.
Florida's average tuition and fees last year for in-state undergraduates -- $3,383 -- was the lowest in the country. The national average was $4,872.
Yet Gov. Crist, a 1978 FSU graduate, last month rejected the proposed 5 percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduates. The hike would have raised tuition from $73.71 per credit hour to $77.39. So students taking the typical 15-credit semester would have paid $55 more per semester.
Crist said the veto reflects his commitment to ensure families an affordable college degree. University leaders say it reflects a short-sighted approach to the state system's needs.
The higher tuition would have generated $19-million more for universities, enough to hire nearly 200 additional professors or 380 additional academic advisors and police officers.
The average student-teacher ratio at Florida's public universities is almost 30:1, almost the highest in the country. Only Louisiana's is higher. The national average is 24:1.
"We're talking about a cumulative, incremental lack of funding over the years," said University of South Florida vice provost Ralph Wilcox. "We're at the breaking point now."
For 2007-2008, USF needed $21.5-million to cover the 1,058 additional full-time students it enrolled. But the state gave just $6.2-million, enough for 356 students.
The 5 percent tuition hike would have brought USF $3.3-million in additional revenue.
The result of the money shortfall year after year is evident: Lecture classes are held in movie theaters, and back-to-back chemistry and biology labs are filled beyond seating capacity from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., said USF spokesman Ken Gullette.
Wilcox said an enrollment freeze is "on the table" for USF. And there is talk of delaying all admissions decisions from the spring until the summer, after universities know exactly how much the state is giving them.
"Mom, Dad, and Johnny or little Suzie wouldn't be that happy" at the delay, Wilcox conceded.
"But some would argue that's the most responsible way. Otherwise, you're admitting students who aren't funded, and that hurts the students who are already there."