Executive Director of Communications & Development
PRESS RELEASE: Board of Governors Chair Ava L. Parker Presents State University System 2010 Annual Report
EMBARGO – Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011 – expected at 11 A.M. CST (NOON EST)
The Board Chair’s presentation occurs today toward the start of the full Board of Governors meeting.
To watch live, via web stream: www.flbog.edu (bottom left link)
View the Board Chair’s PowerPoint presentation slides (PDF) which include more details therein relative to each university.
STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM RELEASES 2010 ANNUAL REPORT
Board of Governors Chair Ava L. Parker highlights five major focus areas, challenges for future
State University System to turn document interactive later this year, becoming national accountability model,
says Chancellor Frank T. Brogan
PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Board of Governors of the State University System today released its 2010 Annual Report, the second year that the document reflects unprecedented content from the 11 universities, including “work plans” and individual metrics – all of which reflect the data and underpinnings that will “continue to point to the pivotal role of the State University System in creating the future that Florida needs and deserves,” said Board Chair Ava L. Parker during a “State of the System” address.
State University System Chancellor Frank T. Brogan noted that this is the second Annual Report produced since the Board in 2008-09 established “a more robust accountability and performance tracking system that better monitors progress from year to year. Improved graduation and retention rates, more research and development and increased to-market commercialization – all of which also serve as key metrics within our New Florida Initiative, an ongoing partnership with the Legislature – are represented in the Annual Report in great detail, and with substantial user-friendly graphics and text.
“We want not just streams of data before the Board of Governors but the right data being tracked in the right way,” he continued. “The Board of Governors has the constitutional responsibility to make informed decisions that continually build Florida’s critical knowledge-based economy and transform Florida to then be more competitive amid national and global economies. Time is running short to help ensure these dynamics proliferate and pulse through the state’s economic portfolio.”
Brogan also noted that staff plan to make the Annual Report “come alive” with interactive tools in development for late 2011 so that “a user could maybe bring together four or seven universities’ data from three or four prongs into one picture. You just wait, because I truly believe our data reporting model will be one that draws national attention in higher education circles for its distinct features and meaningfulness to stakeholders.”
Eds: A list of 11 “key accomplishments” – one from each university – is contained at the end of this press release. Please note that each university also has a considerable list of key accomplishments contained in the Annual Report, and those lists are at the opening pages of each university’s respective tabbed section. See the 2010 Annual Report (click on Volume I) posted at http://www.flbog.edu/pressroom/meeting_items.php?id=122&agenda=414.
Brogan said the Annual Report speaks to the System’s commitment to continue its emphasis on culling information that is helpful to the Legislature, as well, for budgeting decisions: “As good stewards of the public’s investment, our universities continue to find greater efficiencies through better System-wide coordination, leveraging new of opportunities, assessing programmatic viability and monitoring resource allocation.
“As I’ve said before, the health and vibrancy of the State University System’s 11 institutions is inextricably linked to the health and vibrancy of the state’s economy. How we approach educating our workforce is how we choose to see the future of Florida,” Brogan stated. “Therefore, words cannot begin to express my appreciation to the small staff team here in Tallahassee and the university liaisons across the state who work year-round on ensuring continued improvement and parsing of this document into one that is not only user-friendly but meaningful for our current and future planning.”
Parker is a Jacksonville attorney in private practice. Brogan formerly served as the president of Florida Atlantic University, Lt. Governor, was elected Florida Commissioner of Education, and has been a county school superintendent, school principal and classroom teacher.
In the first-ever “State of the System” address on Thursday, Parker outlined five major components and highlights of the 2010 Annual Report:
1. Considerable talent and innovation among students, institutions, faculty and researchers:
For instance, more than $1.6 billion in research and development dollars was drawn into and expended by the System for FY 2008-09 (for data collected in 2010), a remarkable increase of 32 percent just in the past five years.
In 2009-10, the State University System awarded more than 53,000 baccalaureate and 20,000 graduate degrees to university students who will collectively add an estimated $750 million annually to Florida’s economy as a result of their newly attained level of higher education. More than one-third of the baccalaureate degrees and nearly half the graduate degrees were awarded in areas of strategic emphasis that the Board of Governors has identified as most closely related to the state’s existing and emerging workforce needs.
Also, graduation data for undergraduates continue to improve, Parker said: “According to data collected by standard-bearer National Center for Education Statistics, our System’s six-year graduation rate for full-time, first-time-in-college students – entering in the fall of 2002 – is higher than the national average for public universities and is at 10th nationally in data released this past fall. In this same ranking, our System was 5th in graduation rates for black undergraduates; and 6th for Hispanics graduates. While those are numbers we can certainly brag about, we also know we can do more to help our students persist and complete their degree programs in a timely manner so that those student slots are then accessible to new students.”
Parker also emphasized the launch in 2010 of the partnership with the Florida Legislature recognizing and supporting the role and return-on-investment of state universities in economic development, a critical effort now known as the New Florida Initiative (www.flbog.edu/New_Florida). Parker noted that this initiative represents a “major cultural shift in how we do business by bringing together four corners of an important framework: 1. uniting our universities in collaborative teaching and research efforts to address myriad issues; 2. allocating resources to advance Florida’s economic transformation; 3. expecting results that are clearly articulated to the Board of Governors prior to allocation; and 4. ensuring accountability for the return on investment of state funds.” She noted that the New Florida Initiative is helping universities recruit and retain faculty who will better sustain and increase research dollars into Florida.
2. The governance and cross-sector coordination of the State University System and partnerships with the Legislature:
“This year, the Board of Governors made significant advancements in its oversight of the State University System, as it continues to evolve and grow. We made an important decision to resolve the questions of governance that had been at the center of our involvement in a lawsuit against the Legislature.
After months of negotiations and extensive Board involvement, Chancellor Brogan and I signed a governance agreement with the Legislature and the Governor— clarifying roles and responsibilities relative to the oversight of the System,” Parker said.
Included in those statutory changes was the creation of a Higher Education Coordinating Council, the members of which are the chief executives for all of Florida’s education delivery systems — both public and private — with representatives of the business community appointed by the Senate President and House Speaker. “We look forward to Chancellor Brogan’s regular reports about the Council as it works to provide advice regarding better coordination and articulation across all sectors— leading to a unified, strategic vision for education in Florida,” Parker said.
3. Continued dialogue and close review of tuition and fees that ensures the State University System of Florida remains accessible and affordable:
Because enrollment fluctuates throughout the year, the fall headcount is traditionally used for the purposes of common comparisons with other states. The fall 2009 enrollment in the System exceeded 312,000. Based on this metric, Florida now has the fourth-largest public university enrollment in the country.
“When we finalize the numbers for Fall 2010 enrollment, it is expected to reflect another 3 percent in growth from fall 2009 to fall of 2010,” Parker noted. “To put things in a national perspective, five of our institutions are among the 20 largest public universities in the country. These data begin to highlight some of the capacity issues some of our universities face. As we update our Board’s Strategic Plan this year, we must look at sustainable growth plans for the System and individual institutions if we are to attain the optimal balance between providing access and maintaining outstanding quality.”
While acknowledging that the State University System is the 48th-lowest for in-state undergraduate tuition, Parker said it is the Board’s responsibility “to carefully weigh each and every tuition and fee request brought forward in the context of each university’s local market conditions and student demographic. This allows us to ensure that we maintain access to higher education while providing the resources needed to elevate our institutions.”
Following the statutory rewrite mentioned above, the Board of Governors put in place the necessary framework and Board regulations to comport to the new laws, “and I appreciate how keenly attuned our Board members are to the economic pressures that our students, our institutions and our state are facing – we are committed to striking the right balance to avoid undue burdens,” Parker said.
4. Focusing on System operations and offerings to ensure the identification of unnecessary duplication of programming while ensuring the institutions leverage any opportunity for efficiency and maximum results:
State universities continue to respond to economic challenges with focused efforts to maximum returns.
“Our university provosts have been working to determine if there are better ways to organize and coordinate academic program delivery across the System. This team has been reviewing data on academic degree program delivery, participation, and productivity at all levels and will be presenting their findings and recommendations to the Board of Governors in the coming months,” she said.
Since 2007, Parker noted that the State University System has closed or suspended more than 100 institutes and centers; closed or suspended dozens of full-degree programs and numerous other tracks within degree programs; and merged some departments and colleges. In 2010, universities closed 26 more institutes and centers; placed an additional 11 in inactive status to weather economic conditions; closed an additional 20 degree programs; and placed another 23 in inactive status. All of these efforts have enabled the State University System to respond to significant budget cuts while maintaining integrity of the university experience for students.
As a result of economic and other circumstances, online instruction and interaction is growing fast. Student enrollment in e-learning courses continued to grow this past year – with “an astounding near-half of all students in the System taking at least one distance learning course for a variety of important reasons, therefore adding to our commitment to access,” Parker said. “We see this trend continuing upward as demand for e-learning options increases. We had previously scheduled a workshop devoted to e-learning and distance learning at the Board Meeting in March, so the discussion will prove timely.”
5. Continued emphasis on the Board’s stated commitment to devote concentrated attention to ongoing work of strategic planning and performance monitoring of the System:
Parker noted that in 2010, the 11 institutions began work on multi-year University “Work Plans” that are centered to each university’s unique personality and strengths. These are the same “work plans” that the respective Presidents and Chairs of the Boards of Trustees presented to the Board of Governors in summer 2010. Each university has outlined a vision for the next five to 10 years, including more immediate university priorities and plans for achieving those priorities. The Board of Governors’ own strategic plan continues to reflect and will further interface with these “work plans.” Because alignment of all these components is critical, the State University System’s FY 2011-12 Legislative Budget Request is aligned with the goals and priorities outlined in the University “Work Plans.”
“If you get the sense that coordination and collaboration is a recurring theme in my remarks, then you have clearly been paying attention.” Parker said.
The State University System is governed by the 17-member Florida Board of Governors, an entity created in the Florida Constitution (Article IX, Section 7) by voters. See www.flbog.edu.
The 2010 Annual Report also serves to fulfill certain statutory reporting requirements. Specifically, the coordination of the Annual Report, with University Work Plans, address the following:
• accountability components in Section 1008.46, Florida Statutes;
• Florida 21st Century Technology, Research and Scholarship Enhancement Act in Section 1004.226(9), F.S.;
• Scholarship Enhancement Act in Section 1004.226(9), F.S.);
• tuition differential fee in Section 1009.24(16)(e), F.S.;
• enrollment planning and budgeting information in Section 1011.90, F.S.; and
• program approval in Section 1004.03(1), F.S.
HIGHLIGHTS OF “KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS” IN 2010 BY INDIVIDUAL UNIVERSITIES IN THE STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM:
(For the complete list of each university’s “key accomplishments,” see the 2010 Annual Report posted at http://www.flbog.edu/pressroom/meeting_items.php?id=122&agenda=414 – under each university’s section tab.)
Florida A&M University, Tallahassee: FAMU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was awarded $14 million to enhance its infrastructure, thereby increasing cutting-edge research.
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton: The U.S. Department of Energy announced the selection of FAU’s Center for Ocean Energy Technology as the third national center [“Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center”] focused on developing ways to tap the power of oceans as a source of clean, affordable energy.
Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers: After just 12 years of operation and for the first time, FGCU was ranked amid the top 50 public regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report’s annual listings.
Florida International University, Miami: FIU’s team, composed of students from the College of Architecture + the Arts and the College of Engineering and Computing, was one of 20 teams in the world selected to participate in the 2010-2011 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon.
Florida State University, Tallahassee: The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory was funded by a $17.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
New College, Sarasota: Forbes.com ranked NCF the 15th best public college in America.
University of Central Florida, Orlando: UCF was ranked third in the nation by the IEEE Patents Scorecard for the strength and impact of patents. [The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence.]
University of Florida, Gainesville: UF broke ground on the Florida Innovation Hub, a business super-incubator in Gainesville [to open Fall 2011], and its Research and Academic Center at Lake Nona in Orlando [to open in 2012].
University of North Florida, Jacksonville: Transportation and Logistics students defeated 14 universities to win the national 2010 Operation Stimulus Case competition at the 28th Annual Denver Transportation Forum.
University of South Florida, Tampa: USF established what is believed to be the nation’s first School of Global Sustainability as an academic program.
University of West Florida, Pensacola: UWF opened its School of Science and Engineering Building, which has a LEED Gold Level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. [LEED – or Leadership in Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design – is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification.]