Tragedy in Oregon

Once again, a campus, this time in Oregon, has been shattered by violence. Once again, families have been torn apart and the lives of their children and parents snuffed out. Once again, a mentally disturbed shooter had easy access to firearms and was able to live out his dark fantasies by taking the lives of innocents. And once again, our national response will be to send our “thoughts and prayers” and then sit idly by and wait for it to happen again. And again. And again. At what point will Americans admit that passively accepting a level of gun violence far exceeding that in any other developed nation is a national disgrace? At what point will voters decide that enough is enough?

But wait. Let’s listen to the gun lobby. Had someone been armed in that classroom, things would have been fine. But would he or she have been able to draw a weapon without being shot first? Would the result have been to increase the carnage? This is not a Western in which a good guy takes out a bad guy with a single shot. Statistics confirm that even trained law enforcement and military personnel miss their targets far more often than not. By the time an armed killer starts a rampage, it’s already too late. Read More →

Texas, Don't Mess With Florida

UFF-FSU is examining several proposals for major reform of higher education in Florida.  For now, we refer you to the following resource pages:

The Seven Breakthrough Solutions proposed for higher education in Texas are inspiring Governor Scott to consider similar reforms in Florida.  For a humorous analysis of the Texas proposal, see these two 8-minute animated videos, produced by faculty at Texas A&M.  For more formal responses, see Maintaining Excellence and Efficiency at UT-Austin: A Response to the “Seven Breakthroughs Solutions” and Other Proposals and Analysis of Efficiency and Graduation Rates at UT-Austin and Other Public Research Universities in the U.S., both published by the University of Texas – Austin.

We also suggest that you read Breakthrough Solutions for Higher Education: Florida Can Do Better than Texas, the document that President Barron presented to the FSU Board of Trustees at their September 2011 meeting, as well as the associated Tallahassee Democrat article.