So, for those interested in an outside opinion, my brother, who went to Virginia Tech and has no association with USF other than hiring our Business Grads, thought it strange that Alexander shouted "Go Gators" while taking a dump on USF. He did some research and wrote an OP ED to a few papers which we think was never published by the Gator centric news. I have shared it before on here and will now:
Can one have Pocket Protector envy? Does such a psychological disease exist? Apparently so, as JD Alexander, a State Senator in Florida has recently demonstrated that such a neurosis does in fact exist. It is sad disease, that apparently eats away at one’s brain’s ability to be a man and do what is right for the State constituents that you purportedly represent. And it causes you to resent those pocket protecting wearers who rejected you decades ago, and made you the resentful man that you, JD Alexander, are today. Is such an introduction warranted? Well let’s explore one person’s view of the facts.
JD Alexander “JDA” claims that his goal is for there to be a Polytechnic College in the State of Florida, in his Lakeland district of course. So let’s review his actions, and the implications of his words, to see if they support this assertion that JDA really is looking after the Florida University system.
While discussing the proposed spin-off of the as of today theoretical USF Polytechnic Lakeland campus, JDA talks about his experience during his short attendance at Georgia Tech decades ago, and about how they were a bunch of nerds with pocket protectors. Apparently he did not have what it takes to succeed at Georgia Tech and harbors resentment about it to this day. If that wasn’t the case, why else, give me one reason, why he would bring up GT during a discussion about a matter before the Florida State Senate that clearly has nothing to do with GT? This was supposed to be about how USF was botching the development of a Polytechnic University. So JDA takes that opportunity to take a shot at the very University that he started his college career at, but did not graduate from, which is not even in Florida? In fact, GT should be a model of what a Polytechnic University could or should be in Florida, as it is indisputably one of be the best engineering based Universities in the Country, and clearly would be counted amount the very best such public schools in the US. I say this as a graduate of Virginia Tech, and that is not easy to do, since we are consistently ranked behind GT in National rankings, or as I believe us VT graduates believe, just behind GT, when it comes to top Polytechnic Public Universities in the US. If JDA really wants a strong Polytechnic school in Florida, he should be so lucky to have the even close to the caliber of GT students he derisively calls nerds.
So does JDA have respect for what a Polytechnic school would have to offer, or is he ensuring that a “bunch of nerds” don’t become part of a large University in USF that could in the long term challenge the primacy of his beloved UF, which apparently he did have the ability to graduate from, and where his Grandfather’s name adorns the Swamp? What are the chances that a small Polytechnic College could pose any threat to his beloved UF if it is not part of a large University? So JDA wants us to believe that a small start-up Polytechnic College with no accreditation, no alumni base, no history, no endowments, no grants, will somehow be better off separate from a large research University such as USF? If it is not about JDA trying to ensure there is less competition for UF, why after he had passed the bill in the Florida Senate to separate USF Polytechnic from USF did he shout “Go Gators”? So in looking at JDA’s emotional outbursts, which is more likely – that he is really looking after the University system in Florida? Or is he really looking to ensure an up and coming USF doesn’t challenge his UF Gators? And if that is not enough evidence of his emotional state, JDA says just before his “Go Gators” cheer, that USF students are a bunch of wannabes that wish they were UF students. Hmmm, JDA in the same speech which was purportedly about why USF should not have a polytechnic school, where you impugn GT students as nerds, you say USF students really wish they were UF students? Sounds like to me, JDA, that you wish you had the smarts to make it at GT, and you want to ensure that USF, or the State of Florida for that matter, does not have a Polytechnic school of a quality nearing the level where you would be rejected as you were by the nerds at GT. JDA, congratulations, you finally have your revenge on the nerds.
So if one can accept that JDA has psychological reasons for having a fear of the nerds, let’s look at what the real issue is, as it always is … the money. If this wasn’t about the money, why did JDA tie USF spinning off USF Polytechnic as part of the funding of many other parts of USF for fiscal year 2013? In summary, if USF did not spin off USF Polytechnic, USF stood to lose State funding of tens of millions of dollars per year for a number of established programs at USF including the Pharmacy School. My guess, and yes it is only a guess, is that JDA is afraid if USF Polytechnic remained a part of USF, that in the long run, the students who graduated from USF Polytechnic would go out into the marketplace, and those pocket protecting wearing nerds would make good money and donate to USF, and even worse for JDA, to athletics programs of USF . So what is a pocket protector fearing JDA to do? Kill USF Polytechnic. JDA fears an already fast growing alumni and donor base that USF has been developing over the last couple decades, and if USF adds to that USF Polytechnic, what could happen? Do I have to recount how fast USF Football has risen over the last decade? If you think JDA’s “Go Gators” was all about academics, you have never met a Bull Gator (aka big time UF athletics donor) like JDA.
I would like to clarify that this is not meant to be a shot at the University of Florida, or the vast majority of its students and alumni. The vast majority of these folks have likely not even heard about what JDA has been up to these last few months, much less have anything to do with JDA’s revenge on the nerds. Yet, Bull Gators such as JDA, have demonstrated that they are afraid of the Rocky the Bull, and in response have come up with a whole bunch of bull to justify their actions. And that makes JDA a small, pocket protector fearing reptile. Maybe JDA really fears getting hooked by Rocky the Bull wearing a pocket protector? But who can accurately diagnose the motives of those with power, and how they manipulate the system to comport with their own personal biases?
So why is JDA in such a rush to split USF Polytechnic? Could it be, just maybe, that Florida legislature term limits require that JDA leave the State Senate in 2012? Therefore, USF’s indication that the Southern Accreditation of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accreditation of USF Polytechnic estimated date of 2014 is simply not acceptable, never mind that the facts back up USF, and the State Board of Governors agrees with USF’s proposed accreditation timeline. SACS President Belle Wheelan has been clear that separating USF Polytechnic would add years to the accreditation process. How can JDA ensure that USF, the State Board of Governors and the State legislature will not change its mind and not force USF Polytechnic to separate from USF? And as the Budget Committee Chair of the Florida Senate, JDA is in a unique position to pressure USF through budgetary threats to separate USF Polytechnic regardless of the consequences. How can JDA be sure that the next Budget Committee Chair will be as dedicated to this monomaniacal quest? He can’t. As so, JDA is not about to leave that to chance, even if current students of USF Polytechnic have to graduate from an unaccredited school. Such a small price to pay (though the price would be borne by students of USF Polytechnic and not by JDA) for JDA to get his revenge on the nerds and protect his self-interests and the interests, as he perceives them, of UF’s Bull Gators. I do believe JDA on one thing. I believe him when he says that he doesn’t want his name to be part of the Florida Polytechnic University’s name or be prominent on its proposed Lakeland campus. He knows full well that what he is doing ensures its failure, so the idea that he wants his name on it is a diversion from the real issues.
I cannot finish this without addressing JDA’s indication that he has “loss of confidence” in USF’s leadership and USF’s President Dr. Judy Genshaft. Really? And let’s look at exactly what such confidence would cost. So in order to gain JDA’s confidence you have to sell out the interests of thousands of current and future students of USF Polytechnic, and perhaps the very existence of a Polytechnic University in the State of Florida to satisfy the personal desires of JDA. So if I was Dr. Genshaft, I would wear JDA’s “loss of confidence” as a badge of honor, one that demonstrates that Dr. Genshaft will not be pushed around by a petulant bully who will stoop to any level to damage anyone who opposes him, USF and the students of USF Polytechnic based on his own personal biases. Stand strong Dr. Genshaft, people will notice, and in the long run, you will be respected for standing up to this resentful man.
Oh, JDA, one more thing, GO BULLS!