Director of Communications
PRESS RELEASE: State University System of Florida lauded in national report
TALLAHASSEE—Florida’s universities are on the right track toward achieving national excellence, despite years of budgetary constraints. That is the message of an independent review of the State University System of Florida by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni with The James Madison Institute, released today.
The report, titled Florida Rising (full report here), delves into areas of general education, intellectual diversity, cost and effectiveness and governance. Some highlights:
On the State University System as a model for the nation: “Overall, Florida public universities are on a prudent and successful course during these difficult economic times. Significant challenges and difficult decisions over priorities remain. It is clear, however, that Florida has high potential to be a model for other states.”
On balancing access and quality: “Florida’s proactive initiatives to maximize both access and academic quality will represent a key example for other states to follow and a new benchmark for cost-effectiveness in higher education.”
On the Board of Governors’ three-part accountability framework—the Strategic Plan, Annual Accountability Report, and University Work Plans: “These commendably ensure transparency and help the Board of Governors, state government, and public understand Florida’s initiatives to improve quality and cost effectiveness. The clear and efficient presentation of key data in these reports sets an example for the nation.”
On Florida’s ability to excel despite major budgetary challenges: “What is more surprising in the world of higher education, however, is the progress that Florida’s public universities have achieved on such key indicators of quality as graduation and retention during these challenging times.”
On improving students’ time-to-degree: “… Florida is taking clear aim at improving the four-year graduation rate. With the encouragement of Florida’s “Excess Credit Hour Surcharge” legislation, students have a strong financial incentive to complete their baccalaureate degrees efficiently.”
On enhancing online learning: “Florida’s public university system has a bold course ahead, with plans under development for the University of Florida to take the lead in establishing an institute for online learning...”
"We are extremely gratified that this report distinguishes our system as a national leader in higher education. Following years of budgetary constraints, our universities have emerged stronger and more focused than ever and are making great strides toward national prominence," said State University System Chancellor Frank T. Brogan. "This report validates the Board of Governors' priorities of improving student success, enhancing online learning, and balancing access, quality and affordability—all of which contribute to my long-stated goal of ensuring Florida has the most accountable university system in America."
“The Board of Governors is proud of the many advancements that our State University System has made in recent years, and it’s very rewarding when an independent third party recognizes those successes,” said Board of Governors Chair Dean Colson. “I am equally impressed by the way this report lauds our successes and identifies ways Florida can reach even higher levels of excellence in the coming years.”
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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.