I’ve had a few dealings with UF and money over the last few months. Basically, many (many, many, many) calls to the house asking for donations, etc. When one of my favorite teachers had left UF, I had donated money to help start a scholarship in his name. I was not happy with the way it was handled, and have been reluctant to donate money to the school since (not to mention, I’m not impressed with the way the college is handling money — or my personal information — whatsoever).

Today, I received an email (posted below) from Florida President Bernie Machen asking for my voice. Seems they have created a new organization to lobby the Florida legislature for issues important to the school. To me, I am always offended when someone making 750k a year (including bonuses), gripes about a lack of funding. Simply put, Machen needs to lead by example.

A good leader demonstrates by example. If you want to discuss a lack of funding, how about first disclosing that you are one of the highest paid educators in the country. A good leader does not lead by having behavior that indicates a lack of personal responsibility. But then again, I started thinking Machen was not cut out for the job when he didn’t bother to attend a summer commencement .

Here’s the email:

Dear Gator Nation,

The Florida Legislature begins its 2010 session March 2nd, with another tight budget year expected. I want to take this opportunity to ask you to reach out to your elected officials in support of UF – and to remind you that we have an excellent organization to assist you.

Gators for Higher Education, created in partnership with the University of Florida Alumni Association, is a group of volunteers who contact their lawmakers at our request when the Legislature is considering issues critical to UF. The organization was extremely helpful to UF last year, when lawmakers considered and ultimately passed the tuition flexibility bill that is proving so important to UF during this era of cutbacks in state funding.

Support for our base budget is likely to be an issue again this year. Other UF legislative priorities include securing recurring funding for graduate student health insurance and the Florida High Tech Corridor Council, and medical school funding.

Whatever the issue at hand, we hope and anticipate that Gators for Higher Education will be just as helpful this spring as it was last spring. Both Florida and out-of-state residents are welcome to sign up, and there is no cost for participation. To learn more and to become a member, please take a moment to visit http://gatorsforhighered.ufl.edu.

Your voice, your connection to your local lawmakers and your loyalty and love for UF can all make a huge difference to this university. Thank you very much for your consideration. I look forward to working closely with the members of Gators for Higher Education this spring.


J. Bernard Machen