USF’s Polytechnic Campus Announces Major Gift

(Standard disclaimer: My wife works at USF. She likes the USF Polytechnic idea. I’d rather it was a Liberal Arts college. However, I believe strongly that this area can support a locally managed university in the USF network. See today’s editorial in the Ledger. The following is a press release from Thomas Hagerty at USF.)

(Lakeland, Fla., May 28, 2008) — University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft announced the university’s acceptance of a major gift from Lakeland Regional Medical Center to support the development of the new USF Polytechnic campus on I-4.

Lakeland Regional Medical Center CEO Jack Stephens confirmed his institution’s gift to USF of $500,000 — a gift that the university anticipates will be eligible for state matching dollars and, in the words of USF Lakeland CEO Marshall Goodman, “help to literally transform the landscape of our community.”

In making the presentation, Stephens emphasized LRMC’s interest in developing “a world class community.” According to Stephens, “Our Board is very excited about what this new campus will mean to Lakeland in the coming decades. This is a huge opportunity for our community.”

Stephens, Genshaft and Goodman spoke of shared interests in developing degree programs in healthcare-related professions and observed that, as Goodman put it, “Our institutions share a passion for serving this community.”

The new USF Polytechnic campus is expected to open in 2010 or 2011 with over 4,000 students and an ultimate build-out target of 16,000 students. The state legislature has already approved the first $15 million in funding for Phase 1 of the campus, and Governor Charlie Crist has personally assured Genshaft and Goodman that he will add his approval to that funding.