More tuition flexibility linked to stronger accountability measures for Florida's state universities are among the final recommendations approved Tuesday by Gov. Rick Scott's higher education task force.
The panel also called for strengthening the Board of Governors, which oversees the 12 universities, by giving it more authority over budgeting and the hiring of the schools' presidents.
"There's about four or five really strong recommendations in here that can transform the system," said University of North Florida President John Delaney. "I think that is what the governor was after."
Delaney is among seven members of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform who unanimously approved the recommendations. The panel had decided earlier that it would not advance any proposals that didn't have agreement from all seven.
The key proposals include allowing universities to charge different tuition rates according to the type of degree a student is seeking. The idea is to use lower tuition rates at least until the state's economy improves and unemployment drops below 7 percent to encourage students to enroll in programs that lead to high-wage, high-skill and high-demand jobs.