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HIGHLIGHTS: Universities present workplans at the June meeting of the Board of Governors
Accountability takes center stage as universities present their annual workplans
TAMPA—Florida’s nationally recognized accountability system was on full display the past three days as each of the state’s 12 public universities presented plans for moving toward further excellence.
The annual workplan presentations, which took place at the Board of Governors’ meeting Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the University of South Florida, are meant to showcase both strengths and opportunities for improvement at each institution. Each plan was approved by the board after a discussion with university leaders about issues including enrollment projections, minority enrollment and graduation rates.
“Our universities are clearly moving in the right direction,” said Board Chair Dean Colson. “By tracking each institution’s strengths, opportunities and key initiatives, we can be sure that our system grows stronger in the most coordinated and accountable way.”
Florida A&M University: As FAMU works to move off accreditation probation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), it is focusing on improving graduation rates, decreasing its number of profile admits, providing quality instruction in strategic areas and enhancing business operations.
Florida Atlantic University: Striving to attain the Carnegie Foundation’s designation of a very high research institution, FAU plans to make key faculty hires, enhance undergraduate research and expand partnerships with local public, private and civic organizations.
Florida Gulf Coast University: FGCU, with a mission of promoting environmental sustainability, aspires to achieve national prominence in undergraduate education—particularly for regionally-based students interested in a residential experience. Looking forward, FGCU plans to increase STEM degree production and graduation rates.
Florida International University: FIU aspires to be a leading urban public research university, devoted to its diverse South Florida population. The university is working to ensure its initiatives are directed toward job creation and entrepreneurship. It also plans to enhance STEM success through a STEM-focused magnet school established with Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Florida Polytechnic University: The burgeoning STEM-focused Florida Polytechnic remains committed to meeting the benchmarks laid out in the statute that created the institution. In the coming months, FPU will work to recruit faculty to begin building a curriculum and a sufficient number of students with the goal of offering classes in the fall of 2014.
Florida State University: In FSU’s quest to become a top 25 research university under its new preeminence designation, the university is focused on hiring high-quality faculty and improving student-faculty ratios. FSU also plans to become a leader in student career readiness by infusing entrepreneurship into a variety of disciplines and by enhancing its STEM programs.
University of Central Florida: UCF, with strengths in engineering, business, sciences and education, plans to explore additional opportunities through its medical school. UCF plans to hire additional full-time faculty to address its student-faculty ratio, increase graduate programs and enhance research.
University of Florida: As it works to achieve top 10 status through its new preeminence designation, UF benefits from strong graduation rates, STEM degree production and technology transfer and licensing, which furthers economic development. UF plans to use new resources to hire faculty and focus on a strategic subset of disciplines. Additionally, UF is beginning to lay the groundwork for the state’s new online institute.
University of North Florida: UNF provides high-quality higher education to the North Florida region with focused offerings in health care, transportation, financial services, coastal science and engineering. The university plans to enrich undergraduate learning by refining general education and improving performance in key gateway courses, including STEM areas.
University of South Florida: USF has aspirations for membership in the Association of American Universities and to strengthen its standing as a global research university. To reach this goal, USF will work to recruit high-quality students, infuse global content into its curricula, add graduate programs in STEM and health fields, grow experiential learning, and improve graduation rates.
University of West Florida: A comprehensive regional university, UWF attracts students from the Florida peninsula and beyond—notably through close connections with the military and local K-12 institutions. UWF will continue to develop and sustain community partnerships as it works to maximize resources.
New College of Florida: Nationally recognized as a top ten public undergraduate liberal arts institution, New College aims to increase its graduation rates, increase the percentage of students in STEM fields and ensure that educational offerings are linked to job opportunities.
The workplans, as part of the board’s three-part accountability system that also includes its Strategic Plan and Annual Accountability Report, represent one of many strengths recently highlighted in a report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni with the James Madison Institute.
“Florida Rising: An Assessment of Public Universities in the Sunshine State,” was presented to the board Thursday by Michael Poliakoff, the council’s vice president of policy.
Poliakoff praised the State University System for its governance transparency, its improving graduation rates and retention rates, and for working to coordinate academic programming across the system. He offered suggestions on ways to further enhance student success.
"Thank you," Poliakoff told the board, "on behalf of higher education across the nation."
For more information, consult the meeting’s official minutes at www.flbog.edu. The oard’s next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 11-12 at New College of Florida in Sarasota.
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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.