State/National News

Statements Related to Governor’s Action on the State Budget

The Board of Governors recognizes there are real and abiding budget challenges that the State is facing. While this budget represents less direct funding for the universities, we appreciate the stated commitment of legislative leadership that the $300 million reduction will be restored to the baseline next year. Our Universities will continue to tap their reserves year-round in order to save course offerings, retain faculty and account for enrollment growth, among other critical demands. The Board of Governors will continue to aggressively build its framework of accountability that demonstrates our commitment to quality and return-on-investment made amid our 11 state universities.

We are grateful to the Legislature and the Governor for funding several important and long-awaited construction projects in addition to some of the deferred maintenance and compliance issues that must be addressed in the State University System.

There were successes during the Legislative Session that deserve to be highlighted even amid the true budget challenges—one is that the Legislature is actively partnering with the Board of Governors when it comes to accountability and developing the most meaningful metrics for the State University System. Today, we are gratified that the Governor embraced and endorsed that collective and collaborative pursuit.

Over the past two years, the Board has created a three-part approach to developing the most accountable public university system in the nation. The Legislature was directly involved in the Board’s new Strategic Plan finalized last November, it applauded our transformed Annual Accountability Report, and it is a full partner to ensure that the Universities’ multi-year Work Plans illuminate the top priorities of each institution. To that end, the Legislature provided to the Board – and the Governor approved – $15 million in performance funding related to information technology. The best return on investment in Florida’s public universities is one that features higher graduation rates across the spectrum, headline-grabbing national competitiveness, and job-producing research and development.