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Meeting Highlights: State University System of Florida Raises the Bar for Excellence

MIAMI — Today, the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida rolled out the 2021 System Accountability Plan, which showed impressive improvements in several key performance metrics in the Board’s Performance-based funding model. 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 Plan include:

  • 4-year graduation rate – The four-year graduation rate for the System has increased 12 percentage points over the last five years, an equivalent of an additional 5,400graduates. This rapid rise reflects the universities’ hard work and commitment to student success and timely completion.
  • Cost to the student – The average cost-to-the-student is $3,020 when factoring in financial aid.  This is a reduction of almost $12,000 in the last five years. 
  • Median wages of bachelor’s graduates employed full-time – The median wages of our graduates have increased by almost $4000 over the last five years.  When comparing the earnings of our graduates to those of High School Graduates, there is more than an $18,000 difference in median wages, which shows the added value a bachelor’s degree provides our graduates in the workforce. 
  • Bachelor’s degrees awarded – The number of degrees the System has awarded has increased by over 8,700 over the last five years.  Another critical performance indicator is the percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded to African American and Hispanic students.  Currently, 43% of all degrees are awarded to African-American and Hispanic students, up from 39% a few years ago.
  • Bachelor’s in Programs of Strategic Emphasis – The System has improved in this metric by three percentage points over the past five years, with a current performance at 54%, surpassing our 2025 System goal of 50%.
  • Research and development – In 2019-20, the System spent $2.28B on R&D – an increase of almost $10M over the prior year. This includes all types of research expenditures: Federal, state, private, institutional.

“Our System’s collective commitment to student success, as demonstrated by improved performance on graduation and academic progress metrics, is resulting in tremendous benefits for our students,” said Syd Kitson, chair of the Board of Governors. “From a lower cost of a degree to higher wages earned, our students are reaping the rewards, and I can’t wait to see our System continue to excel in these areas.”

In other meeting highlights the Board:

  • Confirmed the appointment of Dr. Pamela Chally as the interim president of the University of North Florida.
  • Confirmed the appointment of Ms. Rhea Law as the interim president of the University of South Florida. 
  • Confirmed the reappointment of Dr. Mike Martin as the president of Florida Gulf Coast University. 
  • Approved updates to the 2021 university accountability plans for New College of Florida, University of South Florida, and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.
  • Approved the 2021 System Accountability Plan.
  • Approved the 2022-23 legislative budget requests for Universities of Distinction and Preeminence/National Rankings.
  • Approved a P3 research facility for Florida Polytechnic University. 
  • Appointed Shaun Davis and Earnie Ellison to the Florida Atlantic University Board of Trustees and Drew Weatherford to the Florida State University Board of Trustees.
  • Approved the 2022-2023 operating Legislative Budget Request for the State University System, which includes the Pillars of Excellence, and the Preliminary Selection Group of Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) eligible projects.

For more information, consult the meeting’s official minutes at The Board’s next meeting is November 3-4, 2021, at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.


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.