University of Florida president shares vision for satellite campus in West Palm Beach

School plans to open graduate campus in Palm Beach County
Posted at 11:19 AM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 18:25:40-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The president of the University of Florida was in West Palm Beach on Monday to discuss plans to open a satellite campus in the city.

The proposal was first announced by city and county officials in August last year.

University of Florida President Dr. Kent Fuchs and West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James gave an update on the project during an event held at the Hilton West Palm Beach.

The graduate campus is expected to offer advanced professional degrees in science, engineering and business.

Mayor Keith James, president of University of Florida discuss plans for West Palm Beach campus

James and Fuchs said Monday that the project, which will be on 12 to 13 acres near downtown, still needs approval from city and county commissioners.

"We have the support of not just Mayor James but the county and individuals that own parts of the parcels of the land that are there, including one significant land donor," Fuchs said. "We have the support of the state."

Pending approval on land and state investments, the West Palm Beach campus could be open to students by next fall.

During the president's visit, Fuch also announced a partnership with IBM that is connecting all a curriculum in artificial intelligence.

"You wont be able to graduate from the University of Florida without being, what we're calling, the 'AI-enabled workforce.' No matter whether you're in journalism, engineering or medicine any area," Fuchs said.

IBM said 90 percent of companies now consider AI technology an essential component of their business model.

However, there's a shortage in the number of workers equipped with the digital tools to meet the demand.

IBM's Skills Academy will be offered to University of Florida students to accelerate the learning process.

"Expanding the UF presence all over Florida helps our reputation locally and around the world," Fuchs said.

The presentation was part of the annual West Palm Beach Development and Investment Forum which features top developers, executives and city leaders offering a look ahead at the major real estate projects coming to West Palm Beach.