In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses University of West Florida President Judith Bense’s 2015 state of the university address, as well as ongoing improvement in the U.S. housing market. 

Bense addressed a crowd of several hundred at the UWF Field House Thursday morning. The president, who will retire at the end of 2016, painted a mixed economic picture for the university. 

University of West Florida

Entering college for the first time can definitely be an overwhelming season filled with questions regarding class schedules, finding out how to get plugged in with different campus activities, feelings of homesickness, and of course the ever changing question of what to major in.

That’s where College Survival Skills, a class long offered by many colleges and universities, including the University of West Florida, can come in handy for many first time students trying to find their feet as they get used to life as a college student.

UWF Has Chemistry

Aug 23, 2015
UWF Clinical Laboratory Science

  Graduates of the University of West Florida’s Chemistry Department are making their mark in the academic and professional ranks around the country. 

Photo via Flickr// Meddy Garnet / https://flic.kr/p/8xiW5Q

Parents have until next weekend to save money on back-to-school shopping thanks to Florida's sales tax holiday, which kicked off Friday.

During the holiday, which ends at 11:59 p.m. next Sunday night, state and local taxes are waived on $100 or less in clothing and footwear, and up to $15 worth of school and office supplies. The exemption also covers the first $750 of any computer purchase, including accessories.

Bob Reyes

The Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of West Florida in Ft. Walton Beach has relocated to a new facility.The new location provides the organization a better connection to the businesses they serve.

The Ft. Walton Beach SBDC is now located just one mile off the UWF Emerald Coast Campus at 815 Beal Parkway NW. Suite A.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses Governor Rick Scott’s signing of Florida’s 2015-2016 Budget and the economic outlook for 2016.

“It’s a big budget,” Harper said, referring to the state’s $78.2 billion budget. “It’s a sign that the economy is recovering, because when people are getting paychecks, when tourists are visiting Florida and paying sales tax on everything they buy, then that means that there are more dollars flowing into state coffers.”

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida has been chosen to pioneer a unique collaboration between its chemistry and biology departments. Let’s start off with an important definition.

A phage is a virus that preys on and feeds off bacteria. They are found, among other places, in the soil. That brings us to a program called the Science Education Alliance-Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science program. That name just screams for an acronym so we’ll call that the SEA-PHAGES program. And that brings us to UWF, which has been selected as one of this year’s participants.

New York TImes

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper discusses the findings of an upward mobility study that shows where children grow up affects how much income they earn as adults.

University of West Florida

A spring time tradition on the University of West Florida campus is being given a break this year. The "Festival on the Green", a two day event  which is usually in late March or early April, has been put on hiatus by the university.

Dr. Brendan Kelly, Vice President for University Advancement at the UWF says the festival may return as the university reevaluates all of its community activities.


The University of West Florida and Town of Century are teaming up to develop a marketing plan to benefit the north Escambia County area.

The plan centers on helping Century beef up its business assets, then promote the town to site selectors, and firms looking to expand or re-locate.

“It was about a year and a half ago that we were first contracted to establish an economic development strategic plan that was paid for by a grant that the town received from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity” said Brice Harris at UWF’s Haas Business Center.