By | May 24, 2007 12:00 am

ORLANDO– The University of Central Florida College of Medicine has submitted its accreditation request and is actively working to hire about two dozen faculty for the first year, college Dean Deborah German told the Board of Trustees during an update Thursday.

The board also approved new tuition and fee rates, among other items,during its regular bi-monthly meeting Thursday at the Student Union.

Dr. German said the College of Medicine is on track to welcome its first class in fall 2009, pending the outcome of the accreditation process. The university completed the first step early by submitting a self-study to the accrediting authority, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, several months ahead of schedule in April.

The LCME is expected to provide feedback to the college by late July. Should any changes be necessary, the document could be resubmitted in August, in time to schedule a site visit from the regulation team in December, German said.

In the meantime, the college is working to hire key administrators by July and up to 25 faculty members by the end of the year. The college has received more than 160 resumes for faculty positions.

Over the past few weeks, the college moved into the third floor of University Tower in the Central Florida Research Park. The 16,000-square-foot space could accommodate the first class should there be a delay in construction at Lake Nona. “I like to have a plan A and a plan B,” German said.

On Thursday, the board approved the ground and operating leases for the UCF Health Sciences Campus at Lake Nona, where the College of Medicine, Burnett College of Biomedical Sciences and other UCF health sciences programs will be located.

The board’s approval will allow the university to move forward with bond financing necessary to complete the Burnett building, on which construction started in March. The medical college building will be built,starting later this year, completely with private fund-raising and state matching dollars. The college is also raising money to provide scholarships to the first class of 40 students.

During its regular meeting Thursday,the board approved a 5 percent increase in tuition for all students, although the status of that is in question because of Gov. Charlie Crist’s veto in the morning of the proposed increase for in-state undergraduate students. The state Legislature provided a maximum 5 percent increase for undergraduate resident students in the budget it passed earlier this month. It was unclear Thursday whether the governor’s veto would be challenged.

Pending that outcome, tuition for a Florida undergraduate student would increase from $73.71 to$77.39 a credit hour. Resident graduate tuition, which is not affected by the veto, will go from $207.58 to $217.95 a credit hour.

Without the increase for in-state undergraduates,the university could lose up to $3.5 million in its proposed operating budget for 2007-08.Public university students in Florida pay about 25 percent of the total cost to provide their education.

The board approved several other fee increases, including a 5 percent overall increase in the various parking decal rates and an increase in the transportation access fee that students pay, from $5.84 to $7.09 a credit hour. Parking and transportation access fees help pay for new parking garages and increased shuttle services.

New tuition and fee rates will take effect this fall.

In other action, the board:

–Approved a long-term incentive plan for vice presidents that will replace the traditional merit adjustments and instead award senior administrators at different levels based on how they each meet certain performance goals. Under the plan, the vice presidents would be eligible for bonuses in fall 2009 after a three-year assessment. The plan mirrors the president’s goals and incentives plan.

–Approved the 2007-08 operating and capital outlay budgets contingent upon any reductions that maybe necessary upon further review following the governor’s veto of the tuition increase. The proposed operating budget is $954 million. The capital outlay budget includes nearly$51 million in Public Education Capital Outlay projects and$37 million in projects that will be built with private fund-raising and state matching funds.

–Approved the 2007-08 legislative budget request that includes more than $13 million in second-year planning funds for the College of Medicine and nearly $23 million in other projects.

–Approved tenure recommendations for 24 faculty members.

Newly elected Student Government Association President Brandie Hollinger attended her first meeting as a new trustee.

The Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet next July 26 in the Student Union. Visit a meeting schedule and more information on the board.

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