Florida’s state legislature began an examination of Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed “Jobs Budget” this month, which was designed to create jobs in the private sector and to reduce state spending. Scott’s first proposed budget cuts state spending by almost $4.6 billion, including reducing the education budget by $300 million.
NSU President George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D. said that Scott’s plan will cause NSU to cut its budget by millions.
“NSU could have anywhere from $5 million to $7 million of cuts that could adversely affect us,” said Hanbury.
Hanbury said he hoped the cuts would not affect tuition. However, on March 17, Enrollment and Student Services notified undergraduate students of a five percent tuition increase effective Fall 2011.
Hanbury said tuition increases are also being considered for the Health Professions Division including the medical, nursing, and optometry schools.
The state cuts did not come as a surprise. Scott campaigned with a platform that promised to run the state government like a business.
He said, “[The budget] is designed to reduce state spending, lower taxes and hold government accountable.”
Hanbury said that he applauds the governor’s attempt to bring business practices to the government.
However, he said, “Being the chief executive of a state is a little different from being the chief executive of a company. I think the budget is going to be entirely different [after the legislature’s approvals].”
The legislature will discuss cuts to the Florida Resident Access Grant, a yearly incentive to students who attend Florida non-profit private institutions. It will also discuss increasing requirements recipients of the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship, which is offered to Florida high school students with good grades.