The rivalry between the University of Florida and Florida State University is heating up over millions of dollars Gov. Rick Scott is proposing in next year’s budget.
To the chagrin of FSU boosters, Scott is proposing $15 million exclusively for UF as part of an effort to lift that school into the nation’s top tier of higher education. Scott announced the award during the unveiling of his $74.2 billion budget proposal last week.
The bonus to UF, which would be spent on hiring new faculty, persuaded President Bernie Machen to postpone his retirement last month. Machen said Scott’s focus on UF, and UF alone, was appropriate until other schools could show they can compete.
“It is time for the Legislature to recognize that performance counts and other institutions should not be equally rewarded unless they can compete on the same level,” Machen said in an email to the Times/Herald. “Equal reward for equal performance. Just look at the data.”