Panel to Examine Fla. University Facilities Funds

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- University of West Florida President Judy Bense is chairing a new panel seeking solutions for a crisis in the funding of facilities and infrastructure at all 11 state universities.

Board of Governors Facilities Committee Chairman Dick Beard made the appointments Wednesday.

Florida relies mainly on utility taxes for public school, college and university construction and renovation, but receipts have declined in recent years.

The universities need up to $400 million annually, but lawmakers appropriated less than $9 million for the budget year beginning July 1.

The Task Force on Facilities Funding will meet April 30 and May 1 in Orlando.

It also includes Board of Governors student member Michael Long of New College, Florida International University President Mark Rosenberg, other university administrators and Florida Atlantic University Trustee Anthony Barbar.

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