The University of Florida will receive an additional $7.4 million in state performance funding this year versus last year, bringing the total allotted to the university since 2014 to more than $103 million. The money will be used in UF’s ongoing efforts to hire and retain the world’s best and brightest faculty and keep the university on the path to becoming one of the nation’s very best public research universities.
UF received 95 points out of 100 – the highest score of all the 11 public universities in Florida measured in the performance-funding model created in 2014 by the Florida Board of Governors, the governing body for the State University System of Florida.
The university’s high score was due in part to increasing its number of licenses and options executed on technologies developed at the university, a measure of how successful its ideas are in the marketplace, from 147 to 261. That distinction gave UF a No. 3 ranking nationwide, according to the latest statistics released in November by the Association of University Technology Managers.
UF credits its success in that arena to playing “the long game,” focusing on closing deals, fostering a great reputation and encouraging commercially targeted thinking among faculty.
“I am very pleased with the University of Florida’s top score and grateful for the ongoing support of the governor, the Legislature and the Board of Governors,” UF President Kent Fuchs said. “When UF succeeds, the state of Florida wins.”
Eight of the metrics are common to all universities. They are the following, with UF’s score indicated on a 1-to-10 scale with 10 being the best:
- percent of bachelor's graduates employed (Earning $25,000+) or continuing their education -- 8
- bachelor's degrees awarded in areas of strategic emphasis -- 10
- median wages of bachelor’s graduates employed one year after graduation -- 10
- university access rate (percent of undergraduates with a Pell grant) – 9
- average cost to the student -- 8
- graduate degrees awarded in areas of strategic emphasis -- 10
- six-year graduation rate -- 10
- academic progress rate -- 10
Two of the 10 metrics are “choice” metrics: one picked by the Board of Governors and one by the university boards of trustees. For UF, those metrics are:
- number of licenses and options executed annually on its technologies -- 10
- faculty awards -- 10
Based on their excellence or improvement on the board’s metrics, universities are eligible for a share of the $520 million allocated by the governor and Legislature during the 2017 legislative session.
“In the past four years, we’ve seen steady improvements at the system level and for individual universities,” said Tom Kuntz, Board of Governors’ chair. “Especially exciting is that we’ve seen universities in the bottom three soar to the top of the pack as they’ve renewed their focus on student success.”
The board’s newest metric, cost-to-the-student, also pointed to positive outcomes. The average cost in the SUS of earning a bachelor’s degree is less than $15,000 after financial aid (grants, scholarships and waivers). The average cost at the University of Florida has been calculated by the board to be $10,700. Furthermore, University Work Plans, in which institutions lay out their future financial goals, indicate that SUS universities are expected to decrease their prices further in the coming years, cutting the student cost per degree from $14,820 to $14,090 by the 2019-2020 school year.
“Affordability has been a priority for the governor and the Legislature as well as the Board of Governors because it increases student access and relieves student debt,” said Ned Lautenbach, vice chair of the Board of Governors and chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. “It’s exciting to see the universities turning that goal into a reality.”