Florida Polytechnic University
|Florida Polytechnic University|
|Other name||Florida Poly|
|Established||April 20, 2012
( 2 years, 153 days ago)
|Type||Public state university|
|Chairman||R. Mark Bostick|
|President||Randy K. Avent|
|Students||550 (Fall 2014)|
|Location||Lakeland, Florida, United States|
|Colors||Royal Purple and White|
|Affiliations||State University System of Florida|
Florida Polytechnic University (Florida Poly or FPU) is a public university in Lakeland, Florida, United States. Florida Poly is the newest member institution of the State University System of Florida, and is the state's only public polytechnic university. Florida Poly focuses on preparing students for careers in advanced fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
In 2012, the Florida State Legislature created the school, the state's 12th public university, while dissolving the University of South Florida Polytechnic campus. Florida Polytechnic resides on a new campus designed by Santiago Calatrava and opened for classes on August 25, 2014. The university plans to be fully accredited by 2016.
The University of South Florida opened its satellite campus in Lakeland in 1988. University of South Florida Polytechnic initially shared its grounds with the Lakeland campus of Polk Community College (now Polk State College). By the 2000s it had grown to enroll under 2,000 students, and the local business owners secured state funding for a separate campus, eventually choosing a site near Interstate 4. In 2009 Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava was selected to design the campus' first building.
Meanwhile, the institution's backers, most prominently Florida State Senator JD Alexander, initiated a secret campaign to break USF Polytechnic away from USF and form an independent university. In 2011, Alexander forced a 2012-13 state budget that took from USF their $33 million budget for the move. Like the acquisition of the new campus, the proposed split was controversial in some quarters, as it came during a tight budget year and was unpopular with USF students and faculty. In response to Alexander's proposal, the Florida Board of Governors approved a multi-year plan to allow Florida Polytechnic to gain independence gradually once it met certain criteria, including accreditation, the construction of residence halls, and the development of a STEM curriculum. Displeased with the Board's compromise, Alexander introduced a new budget for the state universities that included immediate independence from USF Polytechnic, effectively bypassing the Board of Governors. On April 20, 2012, Governor Rick Scott signed into law Alexander's budget for the State University System, including the provision that created Florida Polytechnic University as an independent institution, and closed down USF Polytechnic. The law took effect on July 1, 2012.
The university houses two colleges that offer six baccalaureate programs and two master's programs.
- College of Innovation and Technology
- College of Engineering
- "Florida Polytechnic University - SUSF". State University System of Florida. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
- Toothman, Mary (25 August 2014). "Students Settle Into College Life as Classes Begin at Florida Polytechnic University". The Ledger. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
- Lawrence Biemiller (June 16, 200). "Calatrava Will Design First Building for U. of South Florida Polytechnic’s New Campus". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
- Pransky, Noah. "USF Budget Cuts". 10 News fighting to #SaveUSF. 10 News Tampa. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- Sanders, Katie. "PolitiFact Florida: Understanding the USF budget battle". Tampa Bay Tribune. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- "JD Alexander is the face of what's wrong with Florida" Tampa Bay Times, March 4, 2012
- "USF-Poly gets conditional permission to break from USF, but won't happen immediately". WTSP. 2011-11-10. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- "JD Alexander is the face of what's wrong with Florida". Tampa Bay Times. 2012-03-04. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- "Scott Signs Bill to Establish Florida Poly as State's 12th University". The Ledger. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- "Scott signs law creating independent Florida Polytechnic in Polk Co.". Bay News 9. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
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