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HIGHLIGHTS: Board of Governors Meeting June 11-13

TAMPA — The Board of Governors advanced several initiatives this week to maintain the State University System’s upward trajectory, making decisions about the strategic direction of Florida’s 12 public universities and demonstrating their support for higher education partners.

Board members approved the Accountability Plans for each university, following extensive discussion of each institution’s strategic direction and top priorities as well as performance expectations and outcomes. The Board confirmed that the University of Florida, Florida State University, and the University of South Florida continue to meet the requirements for Preeminence, as designated by the Florida Legislature. The Board also confirmed the University of Central Florida’s continued Emerging Preeminence status and — for the first time — designated Florida International University as Emerging Preeminent.

“Due to performance funding, preeminence, and other accountability initiatives, our universities are continuing to hit milestone after milestone,” said Ned Lautenbach, chair of the Board of Governors. “This Board has set high expectations, and our universities are rising to the challenge.”

The Board also approved the allocation of $560 million in performance-based funds for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The Board’s performance funding model continues to drive improvements, with graduation rates up 9.5 percent in the past five years and universities now offering a four-year degree for an average of less than $10,000.

“The State University System is dual focused on quality and affordability,” said Marshall Criser III, State University System Chancellor. “Ultimately, our goal is to deliver the best possible value to our students.”

Other meeting highlights:

• The Board welcomed four new members: Zenani Johnson, Brian Lamb, Steven Scott, Eric Silagy, and Kent Stermon.
• The Board approved the 2018 Annual Report for Online Education, reaffirming the System’s progress toward its 2025 online goals in areas such as quality, access and growth.
• The Board approved reappointments for Florida Polytechnic University President Randy Avent, New College of Florida President Donal O’Shea, and Florida State University President John Thrasher.
• Board of Governors Chair Ned Lautenbach presented Florida Rep. David Silvers with the State University System Student Champion award. Silvers was sponsor of House Bill 595, a Board priority, which aims to save lives by providing legal immunity to anybody who seeks medical assistance for someone they believe is experiencing alcohol poisoning, even if the people involved are underage.
• The Board recognized outgoing University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft, with Chair Lautenbach delivering remarks of appreciation.
• Space Florida Vice President of Government and External Affairs Dale Ketcham, Lockheed Martin Director of Workforce Partnerships and Incentives Jon Gustafson and UCF physics and planetary sciences doctoral candidate Stephanie Jarmak joined Board members for a discussion on the future of Florida’s aerospace industry. The panel is a part of the Think Florida: A Higher Degree for Business initiative, designed to build synergies between the State University System and the business community.

For more information, consult the meeting’s official minutes at The Board’s next meeting is August 28-29 at Florida Gulf Coast University.

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,,or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.