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Board of Governors’ Chair Brian Lamb delivers State of the System

TALLAHASSEE— Brian Lamb kicked off his first meeting as chair today, delivering a powerful State of the System address that outlines a variety of initiatives to enhance university quality, increase student success, strengthen engagement with Florida’s business community, and build upon our strong relationship with the Governor and Florida Legislature.

In his State of the System address, Chair Lamb envisions a State University System of increased academic excellence that begins with funding the System’s Pillars of Excellence, the foundation of student success.  The three pillars – performance-based funding, preeminence/national rankings, and universities of distinction – are crucial to maintaining Florida’s role as the #1 state for higher education in the nation.  With this critical funding from the Florida Legislature, the State University System can continue to support world-class, affordable education for students, strengthen Florida’s workforce and economy, and meet Floridians’ everyday needs through life-changing university research.

All 12 public institutions participate in performance-based funding, which focuses on student success, accountability, and improvement.  Preeminence/National Rankings is a collaborative partnership between the Legislature & the Board of Governors established to elevate the academic & research preeminence of Florida’s highest-performing state research universities.  Universities of distinction advances non-preeminent institutions’ core competencies to meet Florida’s critical workforce needs.

Secondly, Chair Lamb’s vision continues by recruiting the best and brightest students and world-class faculty and growing engagement with faculty members on their teaching, research, and public service productivity. 

“The extraordinary success of the State University System of Florida is due in large part to the collective commitment to higher education by Governor DeSantis, President Simpson, Speaker Sprowls, and the Florida Legislature, and we are grateful,” said Brian Lamb, chair of the Board of Governors.  “We have excelled.  But there is more we can do.  By tailoring our efforts, listening to the business community and the people we serve, we can make a generational impact on our students that is unmatched elsewhere in our country.”

Engaged oversight, enhanced regulations, and accountability has long been vital foundational elements of the Board’s success.  Another priority for the Board under Chair Lamb’s leadership is to increase efficiency within the System by reviewing Board regulations to ensure they are not redundant, outdated, or unnecessarily impact the efficiency of university operations.  To maintain our state universities’ long-term national and global competitiveness, it is critical to look at the governance and oversight models related to accreditation.  As the governing body of the State University System, the Board must have a solid understanding of the best governance models for the future.

Another priority for the Board is to broaden and deepen the State University System’s connections to Florida’s businesses and industries and increase the supply of graduates in critical workforce shortage areas, particularly health care professionals (nurses) and STEM programs.

“Now more than ever, it is vital that the State University System concentrate on workforce shortages and our role in alleviating those shortages,” said Eric Silagy, the Board’s vice chair.  “We are in a unique position to make a noticeable impact on Florida’s economy by providing a talented workforce in areas that are needed most.”

Finally, Chair Lamb also emphasized the importance of freedom of expression and reaffirmed the State University System’s commitment to ensuring universities remain places where students, faculty, and staff feel free to engage in the open exchange of knowledge and ideas.

In other meeting highlights the Board:

  • Approved the reports on the World Class Faculty and Scholars Program and the Professional Graduate Degree Excellence Program.
  • Approved the report on the Civil Discourse initiative.
  • Approved the termination request of the Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Humanities by Florida State University and the Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science by the University of South Florida.
  • Approved the recommendations of the Task Force and Workforce Alignment.

For more information, consult the meeting’s official minutes at  The Board’s next in-person meeting is March 29-30, 2022, at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.


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.