USF officials fear deep cuts proposed by Florida's Senate would damage efforts to improve health care, nursing, marine science.

1:22 AM, Feb 17, 2012   |    comments
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  • USF's new medical research facility in downtown Tampa.
  • USF shows off inside of new state-of-the-art medical research facility.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Earlier this week, USF showed off its new state-of-the-art medical research building right in downtown Tampa. Work at The Center for Advanced Medical Learning & Simulation is intended to improve health care for patients.

"The only limits to activities here in CAMLS are those of the imagination," a facility researcher told the media during an advance tour of the facility.

However, researchers never imagined they might face the massive cuts proposed by the Florida Senate's budget committee. 

Another USF research lab for marine science also fears deep cuts. The Marine Science facility has been at the heart of studying the effects of the BP oil spill for nearly two years.

If these Senate cuts of more than $100 million actually advance, all of USF's research efforts could be in jeopardy.

"It would affect everything we do," said University President Judy Genshaft in front of a crowd of reporters.

"We are ranked number 27. We're tied with Florida State University in the top American Research Universities," President Genshaft pointed out. "We're up there. We are up there. We have built a world-class university. It deserves to have the kind of resources our sister institutions at this level have." 

USF's Council on Educational Policy and Issues also chimed-in, warning if the Senate guts their budget it could destroy research in marine science, public health, and nursing--all areas state leaders have deemed vital to economic prosperity.

Those aren't areas the school will give up without a fight.

"For the sake of our students and our communities--this is not to be tolerated," Genshaft added. She's scheduled to meet with Senate Budget Chair JD Alexander (R-Lake Wales) on Monday.

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