Two veteran faculty members cautioned a newly formed task force on Monday against changing the state's higher education system simply because a businessman - in this case, Gov. Rick Scott - believes it needs to show more value.
Scott has been at odds with state university officials and faculty on issues ranging from tuition to course offerings and tenure. The Republican has made job creation the centerpiece of his campaign and administration and appointed the task force last month to look at making Florida's higher education system more efficient, transparent and accountable.
"The idea that you can reduce all values to economic value is not only not silly, it's dangerous," said Roy Weatherford, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of South Florida. "The idea that the kind of management that works to maximize profits is the same kind of management that would maximize knowledge - that's just false."
Tom Auxter, a University of Florida professor and president of the United Faculty of Florida, warned the board about tinkering with the tenure system.