TAMPA BAY, Florida - Repeating his concern that the yet-to-be-created Florida Polytechnic University wasn't fully funded by the lawmakers that demanded it, Florida Board of Governors committee chair Mori Hosseini called upon Polk County to fundraise for the new university. He also issued a stern warning about legal issues.
Hosseini, a building developer, also threatened to stop construction at the eastern Lakeland campus because of legal issues in handing the land over.
A reverter clause awards the land back to the donor, the Williams Group, if USF ever ceases to operate it. With the passage of JD Alexander's SB 1994 and creation of Florida Polytechnic, it triggers the reverter clause. USF attorneys have been negotiating with the Williams Group to waive the reverter and get the land under control of Florida Polytechnic University (FPU).
USF announced it reached an agreement with the Williams Group, but the firm wanted the reverter clause reinstated to guarantee the land was never used for anything but higher education. But that Board of Governors (BOG) were worried the reverter could be triggered inadvertendly.
"We should not build this building with that kind of reverter clause in place," Hosseini said during a Board of Governors conference call Friday.
He called the concept of a new reverter clause "mind-boggling" and said it was "unacceptable" to continue building a more than $100 million building on questionable land.
Hosseini, chair of the BOG Select Committee on FPU, also said Polk Co. needs to help close the expected budget gap on the university's first building.
"It is absolutely required for the community to get together," Hosseini said. "We need them to get out there and raise money for many of these issues that are outside of the government."
The Board of Governors (BOG) and USF anticipate the new university's initial building to fall approximately $15 million short given the current state funding structure.
Last week, Florida Polytechnic Univiversity (FPU) got its first boosters, a local business group that indicated it was stepping up to the BOG's challenge. However, when asked by 10 News if the group would fundraise, a spokesman said "no".
Previous Polytechnic Coverage:
6/5/12 - Some FPU applicants have ties to JD Alexander
5/31/12 - Florida Poly gets booster club; JD Alexander gets gritty
5/23/12 - Board of Governors, USF negotiate Poly split
4/19/12 - Governor signs SB1994, creates Fla. Poly University
3/5/12 - USF deal struck, exclusive interview with Genshaft
2/28/12 - Genshaft told Poly accreditation will take 2-4 years
2/27/12 - Alexander actions have some asking why BOG exists
2/27/12 - USF students continue #SaveUSF campaign
2/22/12 - JD Alexander: from USF cheerleader to USF critic
2/20/12 - College student warned of Alexander revenge
2/16/12 - Gov. Scott tells 10 News he opposes unfair cuts
2/15/12 - Budget cuts live, but ''divorce settlement'' brokered
2/14/12 - 10 News leading charge to #SaveUSF
2/14/12 - USF fears "devastating" 58% budget cuts
2/8/12 - JD Alexander pushes "backdoor" for Poly independence
12/20/11 - Genshaft dismisses USF-Poly chancellor
11/10/11 - BOG grants USF-Poly conditional independence
11/7/11 - USF-Poly spends thousands on Star Wars statues
11/3/11 - JD Alexander's bully pulpit
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