[Editor’s note: Dr. Goodman forwarded me this note last night along with a message of thanks for helping to spread the word about USFP’s “no veto” campaign. He asked that I share this message via the same media that we utilized in the campaign. By following the links, you can read about the campaign and the Governor’s surprising veto.]
As you certainly know, last week was a bittersweet week for USF Polytechnic and the region that has so steadfastly supported us. I write to thank you for your incredible support, to provide you with an update, and to encourage you as we press on together.
Despite literally hundreds of phone calls, letters and emails urging the Governor’s support for the great work accomplished this year by Florida’s legislature, the construction funding for our new campus was zeroed out by the stroke of Charlie Crist’s pen. This dealt a serious short-term blow to our new science & technology building, our new College of Pharmacy building, and our Wellness research center.
At the same time, however, the Governor’s signature left in tact another line that nearly doubled USF Poly’s annual operating budget. This crucial appropriation represented the state of Florida saying to us, “Go ahead: hire the faculty and staff you need to build a great polytechnic. Develop the programs that will transform higher education in Florida. We will fund you.”
Clearly we have a lot of work to do! My team and I will be very busy in the coming year, identifying, recruiting, and hiring “the best and the brightest” from around the world, as we build the core faculty and staff necessary to thrive as a polytechnic university. This massive recruitment effort will transform not only our institution but also our region. The legislature’s support, in other words, will translate into the coveted “high skill, high wage” jobs. That’s wonderful news!
The challenge, of course, will be developing a thoughtful, appropriate and aggressive strategy to ensure that we have the facilities necessary to accommodate these new talents. We remain committed to our vision of an amazing new campus unlike anything seen before. We also remain committed to our promise of “world class” faculty, programs and facilities — and the support we have received from you and so many others in our region affirms the extent to which the future of USF Poly and the future of our region are inextricably linked.
In the coming days and weeks I will be consulting with the President, our Board members, campus leadership, funding partners and many other stakeholders as we develop our action plan. For now, however, I want to convey my gratitude to you for what you have done thus far and to underscore USF Poly’s commitment to working with you to build a dynamic “game-changer” at the heart of Florida’s High Tech Corridor. The ground-breaking for that campus will take place, as scheduled, on July 14, 2010, and I hope you will make plans now to attend. You won’t want to miss it!
My staff will tell you of my abiding fondness for Shakespeare’s “Henry V” — especially the King’s poignant address on the brink of battle at Agincourt. I encourage you to revisit that classic when you have a moment. It remains relevant to us now as it has been since the first day of the campaign for USF Poly: even when the odds are against us, there is nowhere I would rather be than fighting the good fight for a worthy cause, with you at my side. And, as Shakespeare noted, those who aren’t with us for this historic battle will later wish they had been . . .
. . . and, finally, as I write this note to you from a cutting-edge technology conference out here in Los Angeles, I can’t resist sharing a quote from Hollywood legend Steve McQueen: “When I believe in something, I fight like hell for it!”
Onward we fight,