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PRESS RELEASE: Board of Governors Meeting Highlights
The State University System’s legislative budget request is approved, performance-funding takes another step forward, and the board says farewell to Chancellor Frank T. Brogan
SARASOTA—Reiterating that a strong higher education system benefits the entire state, the Board of Governors is seeking continued support this year from Florida leaders.
The State University System’s legislative budget request for 2014-15 makes the case for significant investment in critical infrastructure and additional operational funds. The board approved a request for $377 million for facility maintenance and the continuation of funds for new facilities already in the pipeline. The request also included $50 million in new operational funds—tied to performance metrics—that will help universities continue to enhance access and academic quality. The board is asking for an additional $16 million for other shared services and initiatives that benefit the entire system.
“Because the state is projecting to have more one-time dollars this year as compared to recurring funds, our request is focusing on much needed academic facilities that will help us prepare students for the new economy,” said Board of Governors Vice Chairman Mori Hosseini. “This is a solid advocacy budget that is also practical and achievable for our system.”
The request comes at a time when universities are more efficient than ever and—following a generous investment last year by the Florida Legislature—keenly poised to catapult into national excellence. It was approved unanimously Thursday by the board at its meeting at New College of Florida in Sarasota.
“We are in a better place than ever before, and continued investment by our state leaders will only propel our success further, faster,” said Board of Governors Chair Dean Colson.
Hand-in-hand with the request is a continued push toward performance funding. At Thursday’s meeting, the board allocated $20 million in performance funding that was written into this year’s budget. As per statute, universities were evaluated on three metrics prioritized by Gov. Rick Scott: average salaries of graduates, percentage of graduates who are employed or continuing education, and cost-per-degree. Based on those, each university received a portion of the $20 million total.
The board is now expanding that model, adding student success metrics such as graduation rates, retention rates and the number of degrees awarded in areas of strategic emphasis in anticipation of additional performance funding next year.
The board also took the opportunity during its meeting to thank Chancellor Frank T. Brogan for his service to the State University System and all of Florida during the past 35 years. Brogan announced last month that he will begin a new job as chancellor of Pennsylvania’s higher education system beginning Oct. 1.
The board voted unanimously to appoint Vice Chancellor/Chief Academic Officer Jan Ignash as interim chancellor. Meanwhile, Colson will assemble a board member search committee to seek Brogan’s permanent replacement.
Other meeting highlights:
- The board confirmed the re-appointment of President Bernie Machen, whose contract at the University of Florida was extended earlier this year. The board also confirmed the appointment of Dennis Crudele, who is serving as interim president of Florida Atlantic University as they search for a permanent president.
- In an effort to explore collaboration among all of Florida’s higher education systems, Dr. Ignash and Julie Alexander, of the Florida College System, gave a presentation to the board on the baccalaureate degree approval process in each system.
- On behalf of students across the university system, Carlo Fassi, the board’s student member and president of the Florida Student Association, updated the board on efforts to thank members of the Legislature for their support. The students plan to unveil formal thank-you posters in the state Capitol later this month, under the banner of the “Aim Higher” campaign.
For more information, consult the meeting’s official minutes at www.flbog.edu. The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 20-21 at Florida International University in Miami.
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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.