Our athletics program is a national model of excellence, and its success is attributable to the level of quality in our athletics administration, coaching staff, and student-athlete support systems. Our decision to close the basketball and volleyball teams did not come lightly. It will free up over $600,000 in recurring budget, which we will reinvest to support our local educational needs, employers and economic development.
At CF, it is our responsibility to be fully focused on student academic success that ultimately impacts the local community. As the landscape for funding public higher education has become more challenging, CF is realigning resources with our mission. Per Florida State statute, the primary mission and responsibility of the Florida College System institutions is responding to community needs for postsecondary academic education and career degree education.
What changes have caused the college to take this action?
- CF has experienced declining student enrollment – 23% in the last nine years. Colleges and universities across the U.S. are experiencing similar declines as enrollment drops when the economy is healthy.
- Our local business community is demanding a workforce to meet their employee needs.
- Local community needs in high-demand, high-wage areas include Accounting, Business, Cardiovascular Tech, Cattle Management, Dental Hygiene, Elementary Education, Hospitality Management, Nursing expansion, Respiratory Tech, Robotics, Sonography and Surgical Technology.
Why is it necessary to downsize the athletic programs at this time?
- We are looking at all areas of the college for increased efficiencies and are analyzing where we can directly impact student learning and community workforce needs.
- Downsizing the athletics program will result in more than $600,000 recurring savings that can be reinvested in programs that meet employer demand for high-skill, high-wage jobs.
- The college is committed to increasing our investment in academic support for student success.
What is the impact of this change?
- Three sports teams, men and women’s basketball and volleyball programs will close on June 30, 2020. Men’s baseball and women’s softball will still be offered.
- Of our almost 10,000 students at all locations, this will impact 42 student-athletes. Twelve are set to graduate in May 2020, and we will work with 12 additional students who might be able to finish in summer semester.
- Making this decision now allows enough time for first-year student-athletes to find opportunities at other colleges and universities. Student scholarships will be honored for the spring semester.
How will funds be reallocated?
- The $600,000 recurring savings will be reinvested in academic programs that support high-skill, high-wage careers. These programs include Accounting, Business, Cardiovascular Tech, Cattle Management, Dental Hygiene, Elementary Education, Hospitality Management, Nursing expansion, Respiratory Tech, Robotics, Sonography and Surgical Technology.
- We will increase our investment in scholarships and tutoring for our students.
As we move forward, we will remain committed to the holistic development of our students inside and outside of the classroom. This includes high-quality classroom instruction, strong academic support as well as intramural sports programs, and leadership development through student clubs and governance groups.
Revised Dec. 5, 2019