Gov. Scott Proposes $460 Million for Performance Funding at State Universities and Colleges

Governor Rick Scott today highlighted his proposal to include $460 million for performance funding for state universities and colleges in the 2015-2016 “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget. This is following up on the $200 million that was invested in performance funding for state universities in 2014-2015.

Governor Scott said, “We are working to increase the quality of education our students receive so they have the resources they need to find a job and pursue their dreams when they graduate. That is why we are rewarding our universities and colleges that focus on preparing students for great careers. We have seen the success performance funding has had at our state universities over the past year and this funding will continue to build on that success.”

The Board of Governors’ performance funding model rewards universities based on metrics like percentage of graduates employed or continuing education, average wages of graduates, and cost per undergraduate degrees. The “KEEP FLORIDA WORKING” budget adds $100 million for performance funding in addition to $300 million of existing base funds for state universities. The budget also adds $30 million for performance funding in addition to $30 million of existing base funds for state colleges.

“The Board of Governors is working to ensure we have all the right incentives and resources in place for student success,” said State University System Chancellor Marshall Criser III. “Now the universities have taken that ball and are running with it.”

As a result of last year’s performance funding, the following Florida universities were able to make the following important investments for their students:

University of Florida

The University of Florida received $27.6 million in performance funds. This funding was used to invest in faculty and staff as part of the university’s broader plan to become one of the world’s best public research institutions. Since receiving preeminent designation from the Florida Legislature in June 2013, UF has sought not only to attract nationally recognized faculty members, but to reward and retain existing faculty and staff who will work collaboratively alongside UF students to address the world’s greatest challenges.

 

“The University of Florida used state performance funding to support the university’s preeminence goals of attracting and retaining outstanding faculty and staff,” said Kent Fuchs, president of the University of Florida. “A university can be preeminent only if the people who work at it are among the best in their fields and are highly productive with national impact.”

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida received $22.2 million in performance funds. This funding was used to open a new Career Success Center at USF’s Sarasota-Manatee campus to connect students with academic majors and internship experience. USF also hired several new positions designed to prepare students for the workforce and expand relationships with local employers. The new funding also allowed for the expansion of the Office for Students with Disabilities Services to help ensure graduation for all students.

“As one of the nation’s fastest rising public research universities, the University of South Florida’s leadership, faculty, staff and students have placed accountability and transparency at the top of our institutional values,” said Judy Genshaft, president of the University of South Florida System. “As part of this spirit, we have found performance-based funding to be a system that has sharpened our focus as an institution; steeled our resolve to accomplish our strategic goals; and produced results that first and foremost serve our students and support their academic and career ambitions.”

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida received $21.8 million in performance funds. The funding was used to purchase two new software programs to help connect advisors to students in need and encourage timely graduation The funding also allowed the hiring of 100 new faculty members in high-demand areas, from molecular biology to mechanical engineering, to ensure students have access to the classes they need for their majors.

UCF President John C. Hitt said, “Thanks to the State of Florida’s prudent investment in performance funding, UCF is in the midst of hiring nearly 200 faculty members this year, including 100 who are filling newly created positions. Our new faculty members will help UCF strengthen academic programs in STEM fields and other strategic areas, and they will help students across our university thrive in the classroom and in research labs. We hope this year’s allotment of performance funding will enable us to create an additional 100 new faculty positions.”

Florida State University

Florida State University received $21 million in performance funds. This funding was used to hire “entrepreneurs in residence,” faculty with successful backgrounds in launching start-up companies to help students bring their innovative ideas to market. The additional funding allowed FSU to hire several dozen new assistant professors in high-demand workforce areas, including brain health and disease, materials and energy, and coastal and marine ecosystems. FSU also expanded the career resource center with new mentorships and student services.

“Florida State University is looking to the future and building programs now that will benefit both our students and our world,” said Florida State University President John Thrasher. “The state’s performance funding makes our efforts all the more effective.”

University of North Florida

The University of North Florida received $7.4 million in performance funds. This funding was used to hire new academic advisers and career counselors and additional faculty in high-demand disciplines, like health care and criminal justice. UNF also purchased a new software program that connects advisors to students in need

“UNF consistently tops the list of Florida universities with a high number of graduates getting jobs after graduation, but we must strive to continue raising the bar,” said UNF President John A. Delaney. “We need to acknowledge our strengths while also recognizing opportunities for improvement.”

Florida A&M University

Florida A&M University received $7.2 million in performance funds. This funding was used to revamp the Office of Undergraduate Student Success, which focuses on promoting academic excellence and advising transfer students. FAMU also purchased a new software program that connects advisors to students in need, and to help recruit and retain faculty for the pharmacy school.

“We are investing in the future success of our students,” said Elmira Mangum, President, Florida A&M University. “We want to make sure that they are engaged, have a productive academic experience and are prepared to be valuable contributors to Florida’s workforce.​”

Florida Gulf Coast University

The Florida Gulf Coast University received $6 million in performance funds. The new funding was used to create a STEM camp for middle school students, begin a mentorship program for women in STEM, and hire four academic advisers charged with helping ensure students have the tools to graduate, find a job, or continue to graduate school.

“Performance-based funding is evolving as an innovative, merit-based approach to funding education,” said Florida Gulf Coast University President Wilson Bradshaw. “The funding we have received is enabling FGCU to focus on maximizing student success while containing costs for the students, parents, and taxpayers of Florida.”

 

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