Support USF research efforts
"As mayor, Bob will provide continued support for research sponsored by the University of South Florida through assistance with zoning, land use and regulatory changes necessary to facilitate the development and clustering of spin-off companies. This includes development of additional opportunities around the USF Center for Advanced Medical Learning & Simulation (CAMLS) in downtown Tampa."
Buckhorn fought budget cuts, touted CAMLS
Bob Buckhorn's campaign promise to support research at the University of South Florida was fairly comprehensive, including assistance with zoning, land use and regulations for both the university and spin off private enterprise. For that reason, it's too early to give a definitive rating to this campaign promise.
However, the mayor has taken several steps in his first year to specifically support the university.
During the 2012 legislative session in Tallahassee, it looked like USF's Tampa campus was going to received outsized budget cuts as part of Sen. JD Alexander's push to split USF's Lakeland campus into an independent university, Florida Polytechnic.
The cuts angered many in Tampa, including Buckhorn. He penned an op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times condemning the move:
"Make no mistake about who is getting hurt here,” Buckhorn wrote. "Your children may have graduated from USF or hope to attend one day. A USF physician might have saved someone in your family's life or delivered your baby. You might have enrolled in a new degree program to upgrade your skills and knowledge after a layoff. You might own a business that depends on some of UFS's 47,000 students or looks to hire some of the 10,000 new graduates produced each year.
"But even if you have no obvious connection to the university, it is part of building the future of Florida as a vibrant and resilient place to live and work. That future is now under assault.”
(Read the op-ed here.)
We should note that Buckhorn is married to Dr. Catherine Lynch Buckhorn, an associate vice president for women's health and professor and director of general obstetrics and gynecology at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. But Buckhorn told the Times that his reaction to the proposal wasn't related to that. "My wife's going to be fine,” he said.
After many protests from the area, he budget cuts to USF's Tampa campus were subsequently softened.
Buckhorn has also promoted USF's major new facility in downtown Tampa, the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation, or CAMLS. In February, Buckhorn toured the facility with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
"CAMLS is probably the most important development in downtown Tampa in at least 20 years," Buckhorn told the Times. "It's a game-changer."
In November 2011, Buckhorn traveled to Israel to meet with executives from Simbionix, a manufacturer of medical training simulators that are used at CAMLS.
Given these actions, we rate this promise In the Works.
Tampa Bay Times, Op-ed by Mayor Bob Buckhorn: Cuts to USF would carry heavy toll for bay area, Feb. 19, 2012
Tampa Bay Times, The Buzz: Tampa mayor: Proposed USF cuts petty, short-sighted, Feb. 14, 2012
Tampa Bay Times, USF's new downtown Tampa medical simulation center is opening for business, Feb. 9, 2012
University of South Florida, Secretary Sebelius visits CAMLS to talk about healthcare reform, Feb. 2, 2012
Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn heading to Israel on trade mission, Nov. 16, 2011
Tampa Bay Times, Judy Genshaft declares success despite USF-Poly split moving forward, March 7, 2012