TALLAHASSEE — Joined by Governor Ron DeSantis, the Board of Governors this week announced major State University System achievements in graduation rates, research, and affordability. The Board also took action on several initiatives to advance System outcomes and accountability.
Board of Governors’ Chair Ned Lautenbach announced that the State University System’s four-year graduation rate jumped 9.5 percent in the past five years, and the cost of a four-year degree decreased 31 percent last year to an average of $9,450. Research productivity also took a significant jump, surpassing the System’s 2025 Strategic Plan goal with expenditures totaling $2.32 billion. The System’s research expenditures have increased 30 percent in the past five years, generating an annual return on investment of nearly $7 billion.
“Our Board set specific priorities, measured them, and worked with our elected leaders to put the correct incentives are in place,” said Ned Lautenbach, Board of Governors’ Chair. “Thanks to support from the Governor and Legislature, our universities are pushing themselves to new heights.”
The Board also confirmed the appointment of Dr. Steven Currall, provost and vice president of Southern Methodist University in Texas, as the next president of the University of South Florida. Outgoing President Judy Genshaft will step down in July after a 19-year tenure.
Other meeting highlights include:
- The Board’s Audit Committee reviewed the findings of the House Public Integrity and Ethics Committee, as well as the findings in the report by Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, and discussed plans to strengthen the Board’s accountability and oversight.
- The Board heard a presentation on USF’s consolidation implementation plan, which establishes a timeline for steps necessary to bring all university campuses under one accreditation. The plan is to address, among other considerations, degree offerings, the unique identity of each campus, budget transparency and accountability, and research capacity at each campus.
- Researchers from the Florida-California Cancer Research, Education and Engagement Health Equity Center described a collaboration between Florida A&M University, University of Florida, and the University of Southern California. The Center is supported by a five-year $16 million partnership grant from the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health. The Center will address cancer health equity in Black and Latino populations.
- The Board approved Thad Seymour as UCF’s interim president and approved the reappointment of Florida Atlantic University President John Kelly.
For more information, consult the meeting’s official minutes at http://www.flbog.edu/. The Board’s next meeting is June 11-13 at University of South Florida in Tampa.
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 345,000 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 flbog.edu, think-florida.org,or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.