|L-R: Rep. Ray Wesley Rodrigues, Rep. Larry Ahern, and Rep. Mel Ponder|
“We’re getting bipartisan support in the legislature to address this issue,” he said during a Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Facebook Live in December.
Alexander says that the BOG changes the performance metrics each year in ways that benefit many of the biggest universities and deny any new PBF funding to the “Bottom 3” no matter how much they improve.
“This ‘Bottom 3’ concept within the Board of Governors is a flawed system,” he said. “It is a tiered system, And it is not in the best interests of all of our state universities.”
“It makes no sense to say that we’re going to give out $244 million and Florida Gulf Coast receives $0, University of North Florida receives $0, Florida Polytechnic receives $0, and Florida A&M University receives $0. But next year, we want you to come back…and we expect you to compete.”
That problem has now led many voters from the home districts of those universities to ask their Republican lawmakers to change the PBF system.
“What’s happening now, is because the system has played out and there’s a clear flaw in the system with the ‘Bottom 3,’ more representatives’ constituents are being affected by this very very terrible policy,” Alexander said.
Alexander said he'll seek support from Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, chair of the House Higher Education Appropriations Committee, and Rep. Mel Ponder, R-Destin, vice-chair of the House Higher Education Appropriations Committee. Ponder represents UWF.
Another powerful Republican official who Alexander said he'll also reach out to is House Majority Leader Ray Wesley Rodrigues, R-Estero. Rodrigues is employed at FGCU as a budget manager.
“He loves Florida Gulf Coast. He understands the value of Florida Gulf Coast University,” Alexander said.