Thursday, January 29, 2009
Tiger Bay’s next featured speaker, FSU President TK Wetherell has never been one to shy away from big challenges and issues; this is a good thing because the current and future funding of Florida’s higher education system, and Florida State University specifically, has never been more bleak. During its recent ‘Special’ Session, the Florida Legislature approved a $2.8 billion package of budget cuts slashing hundreds of millions of state dollars from social services, public schools, and higher education pushing these basic service areas beyond triage levels. President Wetherell, a former Florida House of Representatives Speaker, estimates that this will cost FSU approximately $12.8 million and that this cut, on top of the cuts absorbed in 2007 and 2008 will get ‘really, really, ugly.’ He, like many other University administrators anticipate much larger class sizes, reduced student enrollments, fewer faculty and academic programs, employee layoffs, and simply less quality higher education across the state. The outlook for 2009-2010 is even worse with a projected state deficit of nearly $4 billion. What will be the impact of these cuts on FSU and the ripple effect on the local community and economy? What options does FSU have for responding to this crisis? Come and join the Tiger Bay Club on Thursday, January 29, 2009 at the Silver Slipper when FSU President TK Wetherell shares his views and answers your questions about the future of higher education in Florida and at Florida State University.