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HIGHLIGHTS: Board of Governors’ Meeting

TALLAHASSEE — During a meeting via conference call today, the Board of Governors approved two important System-wide reports, the 2019 Annual Report for Online Education and portions of the 2020 University Accountability Plans.

The State University System 2019 Annual Report for Online Education reflects the progress universities have made in the provision of online programs, with a particular emphasis on their progress in implementing the SUS 2025 Strategic Plan for Online Education. Highlights of the Annual Report include:

  • SUS institutions converted almost 50,000 courses from primarily classroom, hybrid, and primarily distance learning to ones that could be completed fully at a distance during the Spring 2020 term.
  • In 2018-19, the State of Florida ranked second in the nation in both the number and the percentage of public university students enrolled in distance learning courses.
  • Florida universities are collaborating on many initiatives to ensure the quality of their distance learning programs and efficient use of their resources.
  • SUS distance learning programs have won numerous awards and recognitions for their high quality.

“We are fortunate the Board of Governors prioritized online education in 2015, and I am extraordinarily pleased with our progress to date,” said Syd Kitson, chair of the Board of Governors. “With the commitment of our Board, university leadership, faculty, and staff in its implementation since that point, the importance of distance learning was elevated, allowing the development of infrastructure that was – and continues to be vital to managing the transition to remote education these past few months.”

The System Accountability Plan is an annual report that closely aligns with the Board of Governors’ 2025 System Strategic Plan. This report enhances the System’s commitment to accountability and strategic planning by fostering greater coordination between institutional administrators, University Boards of Trustees, and the Board of Governors regarding each institution’s direction and priorities as well as performance expectations and outcomes on institutional and System-wide goals.  Highlights from the report include:

  • Ten institutions improved on the newly adopted metric on the 4-year graduation rate for Pell students in the last year. 
  • With the System’s continuous focus on student success, eight institutions improved on the time to degree metric.
  • All 12 institutions increased their research expenditures from the prior year.  This improvement will help the System on the path to our new ambitious research goal for 2025.
  • Nine institutions have increased the numbers of their returning students over the last five years.  This increase is due to improved retention efforts across the System. 

“The System’s Accountability Plan is an important measuring tool of the universities’ collective commitment to student success,” said Marshall M. Criser, III, chancellor of the State University System.  “Improvements in these particular metrics – 4-year graduation rate, time to degree, and retention – have an invaluable impact on students by setting them on a quicker path to the workforce, as well as the overall cost of a degree.”

Other meeting highlights include:

  • The Board approved four new Ph.D. programs within the System – Ph.D. in Transportation and Environmental Engineering at FAU; Doctor of Design at FIU; Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice at FSU; and Curriculum and Instruction at UNF.
  • The Board confirmed the presidential reappointment of Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Florida International University.

For more information, consult the meeting’s official minutes at The Board’s next meeting is September 16 at the 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 420,000 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.