Tampa Bay philanthropists Dr. Kiran Patel and his wife, Dr. Pallavi Patel are spending $200 million to create and promote a Tampa Bay regional campus for the private Nova Southeastern University.
Their commitment to the Fort Lauderdale-based university — $50 million in a cash donation and $150 million toward real estate the Patels would continue to control — would rank among the largest individual commitments to a college or university.
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It also could reshape the local landscape for higher education — both in adding a new private college player in the market and in spurring the bay area’s emergence as a key training ground for the medical community.
You certainly want (the donor) involved in the vision and what the program is about,” Weerts said, “but universities have to be careful with how they handle these gifts in a way that honors the university’s mission but is a good steward of the gift for the donor.”
With an aggressive timeline of completing the project and opening the doors by 2019 — already moved back slightly from an initial 2016 projection — one challenge Patel and Nova will face is construction of the buildings. Despite continued recent growth in the construction sector, the country is amid a years-long construction worker shortage, especially for skilled workers. This largely came about following the 2008 recession, when many left the workforce for other fields or retired. There haven’t been enough incoming construction workers to fill the resulting gap.
Read the full article by Malena Carollo and Claire McNeill about Clearwater Medical School
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