Galvano Willing To Consider New College Merger

Government

SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY FEB 20, 2020

Senate President Bill Galvano met Wednesday with New College of Florida President Donal O’Shea. And while he has sympathy for the state honors college, the Bradenton Republican said it’s important for the school to demonstrate fiscal healthiness.

“I’ve always been a big protector of New College,” Galvano told reporters in a gaggle. “I believe it adds value to our community. But I won’t be around for ever.”

Galvano noted that dating back to his days as Education Appropriations Committee chair, he ensured money was backfilled to help get enrollment at New College up. The Legislature provided more than $10 million to the school to pull its enrollment to 1,200 by 2023.

But Galvano said the school cannot sustain itself forever with 37% of its funding from one special payment or another. It’s why Galvano said he discussed the possibility with House Speaker Jose Oliva of merging New College into a larger university. Right now, there’s a proposal in the House to fold New College into Florida State University.

“I do want to have that discussion,” Galvano said, “but no final decision has been made on my part.”

Galvano’s comments came the same day O’Shea held a press conference on the need for New College to remain independent. Only Democrats showed up for the event, but every member of the Sarasota and Manatee delegation has signed letters supporting the school, with the exception of Galvano.

Photo: Senate President Bill Galvano

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