Faced with $300 million in state budget cuts, Florida universities are weighing such options as bigger classes, fewer degree programs, employee layoffs and tuition increases. For example, Florida Atlantic University, which operates seven locations from Fort Pierce to Dania Beach, could close one or more of its branch campuses to deal with a cut of $24.8 million, or 19 percent of its state operating dollars. "We're going to be looking at it all: courses, campuses, reducing summer school, whatever we have to do," said Dennis Crudele, FAU's senior vice president for financial affairs. "A $25 million reduction is a tremendous cut." The cuts, which take effect in July, could have an impact on the South Florida community as well, said Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County. She said a good education system is crucial for economic development.