Veto list: Palm Beach Atlantic University loses $5M in state funding for business school
Bobby Powell seeks to give retired law enforcement dogs a break.

The 54-year-old university has plans to double its student body by 2030.

Palm Beach Atlantic University is going to have to find a way to build its new home for its business school without $5 million in state money.

The money was one of the casualties of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ veto pen marking up the 2022-23 state budget, part of $3.1 billion worth of vetoes that were announced Thursday.

Democratic Sen. Bobby Powell sponsored the one-time earmark for the 54-year-old Christian university in West Palm Beach. The Senator couldn’t be reached immediately for comment Thursday, and neither could university officials.

The six-story, 100,000-square-foot building, slated for downtown West Palm Beach, is the first project planned for a new campus master plan, the funding request says.

Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2020 received the largest private gift — $26 million — in its 54-year history, and $25 million of that is designated for construction of a new building that’s been designed by London architects, according to the funding request filed with the state.

PBAU is located in downtown West Palm Beach. It is currently undergoing an accreditation process with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and has plans to double its existing 3,700-student population in the next seven years, according to the funding request.

The school currently has 64 undergraduate majors, 17 master’s programs and four doctoral programs.

The funding request says the university stayed “fully open” for in-person learning throughout the entire pandemic. It’s also proven itself a resource for the community, according to the funding request.

“The business community benefits directly from hiring PBAU’s graduates, most of whom stay and work in Florida for their entire careers,” the funding request says.

When it comes to the state’s higher education institutions, no item was too small or large to hide from DeSantis’ veto pen. Items range from $80,000 that was going to pay for the Bethune Center at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, one of the state’s historically Black universities and colleges, to $75 million that was set for the University of South Florida’s Environmental and Oceanographic Sciences Facility.

The total cost of the business building project is estimated at $30 million, according to the funding request.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].

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