Nearly a decade since the luster on Florida's signature merit scholarship program began to grow dim, state lawmakers have taken a decisive step toward restoring its appeal.
Just three days into the 2018 Legislative session, the Florida Senate voted unanimously Thursday to introduce sweeping changes to state higher education — starting by slashing the tuition bills of nearly 100,000 top students....
TAMPA — The former director of the communications school at the University of South Florida has landed a settlement that, along with payments totaling $140,000, turns his firing into a voluntary resignation.
Samuel Bradley lost his high-profile job in 2016 after USF officials deemed that he had withheld information during his hiring process, including key details about his employment status at Texas Tech University. That school was scheduled to revoke Bradley's tenure after finding that he had inappropriate relations with students....
TAMPA — Early Tuesday morning, the president of Hillsborough Community College received a rambling email outlining horror-movie violence to be inflicted upon HCC's campus if certain payments were not made.
Across Florida, in Tampa and Gainesville and Tallahassee, other college and university presidents' inboxes were lighting up with the same extortion threat, promising an inundation of false bombing and shooting threats until, the sender claimed, one would prove real....
TAMPA — A high-ranking University of South Florida Health official has resigned amid internal concerns that he was giving special treatment to his assistant.
After an internal investigation, USF System President Judy Genshaft was poised last month to strip Dr. Edmund Funai of his leadership title, uncertain that he "understood or appreciated the management counseling" he received about supervisor-subordinate relationships....
Rising up in defiance to Richard Spencer, hundreds of University of Florida students sounded off in a deafening chant.
"Go home, Spencer!" they shouted, as the exasperated white nationalist paced the stage, pleading to be heard.
Were the students exercising their fellow First Amendment rights? Or were they breaking the law by taking his event off the rails?
That would be up for debate under a new "campus free expression" bill filed in Florida this week....
News stories about campus sexual assault often get the question, "Why do schools handle these cases, anyway?"
Readers often wonder how universities got tasked with handling these convoluted cases in the first place. Where, they ask, do the police come in?
"It's actually a very legitimate question because it's been a big cultural change," said Peter Lake, a Stetson University College of Law professor with expertise in this area. "It wasn't that long ago that that would have been a natural response, to push these things toward the police."...
TAMPA — Last November, a psychology student named Samantha Garrett told a professor at the University of South Florida that her classmate had raped her, leaving her bruised and bleeding.
The gears of the university's student conduct system began turning. A university investigator soon found her classmate "responsible" for non-consensual sex. Instead of a formal hearing, he chose to accept sanctions....
TAMPA — Police arrested a 26-year-old man they say drove the wrong way while drunk and caused a multi-vehicle crash that injured several people late Friday on the Courtney Campbell Causeway.
Collin John Cole faces two counts of driving under the influence causing serious bodily injury and charges of DUI with property damage and leaving the scene.
Police did not immediately identify any of those injured but said one person remains in critical condition and another is in serious condition....
TAMPA — Robert Ryan cleaned out his office in May. He knew he was dying.
He had kept driving to the University of South Florida even as he lost the use of his left arm. He had kept teaching English, even as tumors ravaged his mouth so that he could hardly speak.
He was a military kid, after all, accustomed to duty. But he was also an adjunct professor, making a meager living by patchworking part-time classes, and he needed the money....
TAMPA — The university had already hit its $1 billion fundraising goal, and the college sweethearts had already cemented their spot as the top donors to their beloved alma mater.
At a black tie gala at Amalie Arena on Saturday, though, philanthropic giants Pam and Les Muma surprised the crowd by announcing yet another massive donation to the University of South Florida.
They hope their blockbuster gift of $15 million sends a message: USF's fundraising campaign may be winding down, but the gifts should go on....
TAMPA — The University of South Florida is under a second federal investigation for possibly mishandling a case of campus sexual violence.
Federal officers took up the case last week, following a student complaint against USF in late August with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.
In a letter to USF President Judy Genshaft, the office says it will examine whether USF "promptly and equitably" responded to the complaining student's case....
With an eye toward increased access for underrepresented students, Florida State University is waiving its $30 application fee for prospective students who tell the university they have financial need.
In the past, FSU hopefuls had to jump a few hurdles to get the fee waived. They had to go to their guidance counselor and request paperwork. They had to make sure they tracked down all of the right signatures and materials, then send them by mail or fax to FSU....
The latest look at the cost of college in America paints a fairly bleak picture for students and parents already struggling with the outsized financial burden.
Tuition keeps rising, and financial aid isn’t keeping pace, according to The College Board’s annual reports on the cost of higher education.
Colleges are feeling the pain, too, as they shell out grants and scholarships to students who need help paying the bills....
GAINESVILLE — Fists raised, a sea of defiant student protesters at the University of Florida relentlessly shouted down the white nationalist on stage. Richard Spencer paced, irritated, clinging to his chance to talk.
"Go home, Spencer," hundreds chanted over him. "We won't back down."
Spencer tried taunts — "you all look like immature preschoolers" — and requests for reason. He tried preaching more loudly about his vision of a whites-only homeland. He tried shouting back....
In the a small theater crammed with cameras, Richard Spencer and a small group of his coordinators clashed with reporters as his controversial speech in the Phillips Center drew near Thursday.
Spencer stormed into the room in a three-piece suit and berated a journalist he said had incorrectly reported information related to ticketing.
He called the reporter ignorant, maybe a liar. He eventually moved on to questions from other reporters, who asked for elaboration on Spencer's well-documented white nationalist views. ...