Florida’s public universities have a history of creating foundations. They have names like the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation or the Florida State University Research Foundation. But these foundations are actually private corporations. And the links between these corporations, which oversee a number of university-related functions from managing athletics departments to constructing housing, and their public universities is murky.
This month, the Florida Supreme Court is moving forward with a case that seeks to establish whether or not these private corporations are truly extensions of the university.
This fall, Associated Press Correspondent Mike Schneider wrote an article called “Colleges duck public records law via corporations,” which not only explored the relationship between public and their private corporations, but also asked 30 of Florida’s biggest university corporations for staff salaries, donors and contracts under Florida’s Sunshine Law. The results were mixed.
We discusses the relationship between universities and these corporations, and what a ruling from the Florida Supreme Court might mean for them.