Director of Communications
PRESS RELEASE: State University System celebrates successful legislative session
(Click for an end-of-session video message from Chancellor Frank T. Brogan)
TALLAHASSEE—The State University System has much to celebrate tonight, with the conclusion of one of its most successful legislative sessions in years.
Florida lawmakers have not only made significant investments in the state’s 12 public universities, they have also infused the system with important reforms that promise to foster its movement into national prominence.
This year, as promised, the $300 million that was cut from the State University System’s budget during the last legislative session was fully restored. Moreover, this year’s budget included more than $300 million in additional funding for the system for a variety of initiatives. Additionally, the budget provides $70 million for construction projects across the system and $44 million for critical deferred maintenance projects. (See budget highlights below for details.)
This marks the first time in seven years that the system has not experienced a budget cut.
Beyond the dollars and cents, the session also delivered to the State University System a bevy of good public policies. Key among them was SB 1076, the Career and Professional Education Act, which has already been signed by Gov. Rick Scott. Among other reforms across all educational , the bill gives universities a path toward achieving special preeminent status, creates the state’s first fully online degree institute and lays groundwork for performance-based funding—a longtime priority of the Board of Governors.
“Months ago, our university presidents came to the Capitol with a simple message: Aim higher. Invest in higher education, and we will provide a good return to the people of this state. Clearly, the clarion call was heard,” said State University System Chancellor Frank T. Brogan. “Our universities are as efficient as they’ve ever been. They are committed to accountability. And most importantly, they are united in their commitment that the investments made in higher education will pay off for generations to come.”
“We are grateful for the support of our state leaders, who understand the value of a strong system of universities,” said Board of Governors Chair Dean Colson. “During the past 60 days, as members of the House and Senate debated hundreds of important issues to this state, one point was never called into question: higher education must be a priority for Florida. The State University System not only provides a benefit to hundreds of thousands of students, but it also helps lay the foundation for a robust economy and well-educated society.”
“Already, Gov. Rick Scott has made clear his commitment to higher education excellence with the recent signing of SB 1076—a landmark piece of legislation that elevates our preeminent universities, creates the state’s first fully online degree-granting institute, and includes performance-based incentives,” said Board of Governors Vice Chair Mori Hosseini. “We look forward to the Governor’s continued support of the investments made to the State University System in this year’s state budget.”
The State University System’s overall operating budget increased $314 million (8.3 percent) over the current year’s base funding, excluding the restoration of last year’s $300 million cut.
The additional $314 million in operating funds includes $242 million in state funds and $72 million in tuition budget authority, accounting for anticipated enrollment growth and a 3 percent base tuition increase (the 3 percent increase would generate $18.5 million).
Funds were provided for IT performance funding, systemwide performance-based incentives, preeminent institutions, a new online institute, retirement adjustments and numerous local initiatives. Some details:
- $50 million for various performance-funding initiatives (includes $30 million in incentive funds for certain high demand areas and $20 million in incentive funds based on graduate outcomes)
- $30 million for preeminent research universities
- $15 million for a new state online institute, to be established by the university that meets the most preeminence metrics
- $72 million to cover the increased employer share of retirement benefits
The State University System also received $184 million for construction projects:
- $70 million for various university projects, identified in the Board of Governors’ rolling PECO list
- $44.4 million for critical deferred maintenance
- $70 million for campus life projects funded by student CITF fees
Facts about the State University System of Florida and the Board of Governors
The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors. The system has 12 universities and more than 335,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation. Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and managing the system’s coordination and operation. The board appoints a Chancellor who serves as the system’s chief executive. For more, visit www.flbog.edu.