Brittany Alana Davis
Director of Communications
HIGHLIGHTS: Board of Governors meeting, Jan. 15-16
A new chair and co-chair, a new system to reward our most improved and highest-achieving schools, a look toward expanding our online opportunities for students, and other highlights of the January meeting of the Board of Governors at Florida Gulf Coast University
FORT MYERS—Led by the newly inaugurated chair of the State University System, Mori Hosseini, the Board of Governors on Thursday took several new steps to enhance the accountability and quality of all of our state’s universities.
Not the least of which was signing off on a 10-metric performance funding model designed to reward the most-improved and highest-achieving schools. Leaders of the Legislature have expressed their broad support for this initiative, which will be considered during the 2014 session. Read more here.
“Florida’s policy must be to make sure a college degree actually leads to a real job in the real economy,” said Florida Senate President Don Gaetz. “That’s why we strongly support the Board of Governors in tying funding of education to the measurable performance of our colleges and universities.”
In another push to maximize student success, the board amended its 2014-2015 legislative budget request, using data to support an ask of $321 million to renovate and maintain our buildings and protect taxpayers' long-term investments in our facilities. The request is designed to launch a flurry of construction jobs and create future high-skilled, high-wage jobs by ensuring that our students study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and other fields in modern facilities that reflect the reality of today's workplaces.
“Our state is doing better than ever before at catering to the needs of our workforce and ensuring that students and taxpayers get the maximum return on investment in higher education,” said Board Chair Mori Hosseini. “This $321 million--which does not include any new buildings-- will enable our System to continue moving forward.”
Other meeting highlights:
- The board signed off on nine recommendations from the Task Force on Postsecondary Online Education in Florida, which spent months investigating the best practices for Florida’s future in online education. Recommendations include implementing a statewide online common online marketplace for students and selecting a lead institution to develop for-credit MOOCs, or massive open online courses.
- Florida colleges and universities were called to submit grant applications by Feb. 3 for $15 million in funding for new initiatives to fill the job needs of our state. The grants will reward projects, with partnerships encouraged, that address the work gaps identified in the Commission on Higher Education Access and Educational Attainment report.
- The Innovation and Online Committee, charged with bringing the most up-to-date technologies and ideas to our state universities, kicked off its first meeting.
- A new report finds that Florida facilities have reduced their energy expenditures by $17 million per year since 2007-2008, evidence of concerted efforts by our universities to install energy-saving technologies.
- Chair Mori Hosseini announced new duties for local boards of trustees, requiring they use “stress tests” to identify vulnerabilities at their universities and prioritize their most important and efficient programs.
- Florida Polytechnic University updated board members on student recruitment, faculty and curriculum, demonstrating great gains toward enrolling students in the Fall of 2014.
For more information, consult the meeting’s official minutes at http://www.flbog.edu/. The board’s next meeting is scheduled for February 20.
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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 http://www.flbog.edu//.