New faculty, new Pathogens Research Facility and 2010 legislative session

Published: January 28 2010

Category:InsideUF, Voices Column

Hello Gator Nation, and Happy New Year!

We are pleased to start 2010 with several major developments here at the University of Florida.

Perhaps most prominent, UF colleges and departments are already in the process of hiring as many as 100 new faculty members. Made possible by judicious budgeting and increased tuition revenues, we are one of the only higher-education institutions nationwide to have such a large hiring campaign. Given the tight job market, we anticipate superb candidates, which should help to reverse the brain drain that accompanied our several years of budget cuts.

Earlier this week, we reached a major milestone in one of our most ambitious and far-reaching research initiatives: The grand opening of the Pathogens Research Facility. Tuesday’s events marked the completion of the 80,000-square-foot building dedicated to combating the growing threat of new and evolving diseases. The new facility, which includes biosafety labs and other unique features, will give our researchers in the Emerging Pathogens Institute all the tools they need to remain on the front lines in this important battle. This is an issue of vital importance to people everywhere, not to mention Florida’s economic engines of tourism and agriculture.

Later this spring, we will advocate for several important UF and higher-education causes in the 2010 legislative session. Of particular interest, we will ask state lawmakers to create a Blue Ribbon Commission to study the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. We hope the commission will look into several issues, including the possibility of modifying the scholarship to create more need-based scholarships and summer school funding.

It is an exciting time to be at the University of Florida. Thanks to all of you for all your continued support. Your loyalty means the world to us as we embark on the many challenges ahead.

Have a great spring, and Go Gators!

Bernie Machen,

Category:InsideUF, Voices Column