Thursday, September 15, 2011

UCF wants time to tweak and resubmit dental school proposal

FAMU’s detailed proposal for a College of Dental Medicine has proved to be a tough act for the University of Central Florida to follow. UCF President John C. Hitt now wants time to tweak and resubmit his dental school plans to the Board of Governors (BOG).

Hitt’s announcement followed tough questioning from the BOG Strategic Planning Committee during yesterday’s meeting in Miami.

In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Hitt told the newspaper that the committee’s response to UCF’s proposal “was not encouraging.”

The committee asked, for example, why UCF has not come forward with a plan to collaborate with the University of Florida’s College of Dentistry. FAMU’s proposal included a letter of support from UF. Florida State University and FAMU have also outlined an agreement to share facilities and team up on the basic sciences curriculum for the new Tallahassee-based dental school.

"I think we have preached partnership and collaboration," committee member Norman Tripp said. "There is an opportunity here to bring two wonderful universities together [UF and UCF] and have them partner so they both get the best of both worlds."

Hitt said UCF representatives will meet with UF officials in the coming weeks to talk about a possible partnership.

UCF’s high projected tuition price tag, made necessary by its pledge not to seek state funding, also attracted sharp criticism from the committee. FAMU plans to charge less in tuition than UF in order to help attract and enroll students from underrepresented minority groups.

The BOG Strategic Planning Committee did not vote on any recommendations, yesterday. It will continue its discussion on the three dental education-related proposals from FAMU, UCF, and UF today.

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