I have to say I was impressed reading the brief but informative story by Mary Toothman in The Ledger today recapping a recent meeting between Florida Poly, USF, UF, and Board of Governors officials.
The gist of the article, which you can read here, is that the transition of assets from USF to Florida Poly is going to be complicated, Florida Poly needs staff and will contract with UF for help, and everyone is happy and looking forward to a great working relationship.
Mary didn’t include it in the story, but I’m assuming there was a rainbow glimmering over the building and someone playing a harp in the corner, maybe even some doves gliding through the room.
Is everyone really going to be playing this nice?
Granted, Judy Genshaft and J.D. Alexander and Marshall Goodman, etc., etc., weren’t in the room. And you better believe there are still hurt feelings and bruised egos (or inflated, depending on which side you’re on) stemming from the messy push for independence for Florida Poly from USF. I for one am still disappointed by the whole thing and wish everyone could have exercised some patience and maturity so that we could have celebrated this achievement without reservation rather than reluctantly clap while whispering to our neighbor about how the whole thing went down.
However . . .
If Friday’s meeting is an indication of how people on all sides will be interacting and collaborating going forward, then consider me impressed and excited. Florida Poly is going to be a great asset for our region, and if everyone truly can let bygones be bygones, then the impact can be even greater and its potential reached sooner.
Maybe I’m too cynical, but I expected USF to be less cooperative and the main characters I listed above more vocal in the background than it appears they all are. But I’m also open to correction, and if my expectations prove way off I will be thrilled.
This was only one meeting, but hopefully it’s the start of a great collaborative process that leads to one of the best polytechnic universities in the world. An asset like that in our state, and especially in our region, is something around which we can all rally.