The group of plaintiffs in the lawsuit over the Board of Governors’ constitutional authority refiled their lawsuit Monday in Tallahassee. The judge in the case had ruled early in January that the plaintiffs, including the Board of Governors, did not have standing to sue in state court.
This lawsuit is about tuition authority (a crucial question this year!) but more generally about who controls Florida’s universities. In 2002, the United Faculty of Florida supported the constitutional amendment that created the Board of Governors, as faculty were tired of seeing legislative politics deciding educational issues. If the Board of Governors wins this lawsuit, future decisions may have political overtunes, but we will see far less of the shenanigans of the past decade, where legislative influence and not educational need determined whether new schools were built, and on which campuses.
A decision is not going to happen for several months at the lower-court level, and any decision is likely to be appealed until the Florida Supreme Court decides the issue.