By William Trombley
||Orlando businessman Phil Handy chaired the “transition task force” that spelled
out details of the “K–20” plan.
ON THE 15TH FLOOR of the
Florida Education Center, across
the street from the state capitol,
half of the Florida State University System
offices are empty. The chancellor has
resigned, along with several other top
system administrators. The security guard
in the lobby did not know that the ten-campus
system, and its Board of Regents,
were housed in the building, perhaps
because soon they will not be.
On July 1, the regents will disappear and
the state university will become part of a
“seamless” education system, from kindergarten through graduate school, to be
run by a seven-member “super board.”
There will be a Commissioner of Education,
sometimes referred to as the “education
czar,” and three deputy commissioners-
one for the state’s 3,500 public
schools, a second for its 28 community
colleges and a third for the ten university
As this issue of National CrossTalk
went to press, the legislature was about to
approve the plan and Republican Governor
Jeb Bush, the president’s brother, was
expected to sign it into law.
Although all levels of education in the
state will be affected eventually, the most
immediate impact wil l be felt by the
university system, with its 240,000 students,
13,600 faculty members and $5 billion
Instead of a statewide Board of Regents,
there will be separate, 11-member
governing boards for each campus. These
trustees, as well as the seven members of
the super board will be appointed by the
governor, greatly increasing his influence
over higher education. Members of the
super board and the local boards will serve
four-year terms and can be dismissed by
the governor “for cause.”
The job of education commissioner or
“czar” changes from an elected to an...
By Kay Mills
Santa Cruz, California
|Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood hopes to strengthen science
and engineering at UC Santa Cruz.
THE UNIVERSITY OF California established its campus among the
redwoods at Santa Cruz in the 1960s as an experimental alternative to the
megaversity—the big, impersonal campuses like Berkeley or UCLA. Today,
looking at UC Santa Cruz 36 years along, an outsider woul d say the campus is
undergoing delayed growing pains as it tries to develop a presence in Silicon
Valley, expand its engineering school, and double its graduate program even as
undergraduate enrollment pressures increase .
But insiders here would say that there has been a rolling reassessment almost
since day one—about engineering, about the role of the distinctive residential colleges,
about the “narrative evaluation” system in lieu of traditional letter grades.
UC Santa Cruz always has been experimental, said Manuel Pastor, himself a
Santa Cruz graduate and now professor of Latin American and Latino studies. “The
question now is, What’s experimental?”
Debate over changing the grading system occupied much of the faculty Academic Senate’s time last year.
This year the ongoing reassessment is focusing more on the proposed Silicon Valley center. UC Santa Cruz Chancellor M.R.C.
Greenwood has put her considerable energy behind giving UC a presence in an area that is producing cutting-edge technological
The dream moved a giant step forward last October when the University of California and NASA formally announced a
partnership to create a research and development campus at Moffett Field near San Jose. Santa Cruz is the lead UC campus
involved in the planning. Greenwood and others are excited about the possibilities for everything from nanotechnology
(the extreme miniaturization of technology) and labor market studies (especially among the large Latino population),
to recruitment of more first-generation college students who otherwise might not consider UC.
But some faculty members are concerned about planning for the center. They
want to know who would teach there, whether a “UC-quality education” can be offered without considerable subsidies
from programs on the Santa Cruz campus, and how many students, especially undergraduates, such a campus might
The UC Santa Cruz Academic Senate voted in March to ask the administration... (continue)