Governor Scott Highlights Higher Education Investments

Today, on the campus of the University of Florida, Governor Scott highlighted his commitment to higher education and discussed his Florida Families First Budget that invests in Florida colleges and universities, while continuing to hold the line on tuition in order to make college more affordable for students and future students.

Governor Scott’s recommended budget provides $1.1 billion in funding for state colleges and $3.8 billion for Florida universities. As part of our overall commitment to higher education, the Florida Families First Budget includes $14 million for performance funding for colleges and more than $160 million for university performance funding. Performance measures will help Florida’s higher education institutions meet the needs of students and parents and ensure a positive return on investment for all Florida families.

Performance measures will be developed and implemented by the board of governors which oversees Florida universities and the state board of education which oversees Florida state colleges. Every institution will have a standard way to measure the criteria and the funding will be allocated based on the institutions that do the best in achieving the three criteria. The performance measures include: the percentage of graduates employed or continuing education; the average wage of employed graduates; and the average cost to produce a graduate.

Governor Scott said, “The Florida Families First Budget continues move Florida in the right direction by focusing on what matters most to Floridians – jobs and education. Targeted investments in higher education will help ensure Florida has a university that ranks in the top 10 in the United States. Because of the hard choices we made to get our state’s economy on track two years ago, we can now make a smart investment of $15 million to support the University of Florida’s continued pursuit of excellence.”

Additionally, Governor Scott has proposed a $15 million investment in the University of Florida to ensure Florida has a university that ranks in the top 10 in the United States. This additional investment in the University of Florida sets an ambitious goal of achieving a world-class research university to drive Florida job growth without shifting costs onto parents and students.

In order to obtain this funding, UF will have to submit a benchmark plan to the Board of Governors outlining the annual measureable goals they need to achieve in order to obtain national top 10 status over the next five years. UF must also match this $15 million in state funding dollar for dollar with private funds.

To make higher education more affordable and predictable for Floridians, Governor Scott has also recommended establishing a fixed rate of tuition and fees for undergraduate students who are Florida residents and are continuously enrolled in a state university during four consecutive academic years. This will allow parents and students to better prepare for the costs of higher education.

University of Florida President Bernie Machen said, “I am appreciative to Gov. Scott for recognizing that additional financial resources will help us recruit world-class faculty to give students the same quality of teaching and richness of classroom experience as those attending top-ranked public universities elsewhere. At the same time, the governor’s commitment will help us build upon a successful research enterprise to not only raise the profile of the state but also promote economic development and the state’s growing technology economy.”

Marshall Criser, III, Member, University of Florida Board of Trustees said, “The University of Florida has a strong record of creating businesses and generating jobs through nationally recognized scientific research and academic excellence. Governor Scott’s support of Florida’s ability to achieve a top 10 public university will help us take technology transfer to the next level and advance Florida’s innovation economy to the benefit of all Floridians. We applaud the Governor’s vision for the future.”

C. David Brown, II, Chair, University of Florida Board of Trustees said, “Becoming a top 10 university is a long-time goal of the University of Florida Board of Trustees, and we are pleased to have Governor Scott’s support of this effort. His budget proposal includes the funds necessary to recruit the world-class talent that will generate tremendous benefits for UF’s students, research and the state as a whole. We also appreciate his proposal to fund the facilities we need to accommodate the increasing demand for science and engineering degrees.”

Cheri Brodeur, Chair, University of Florida Faculty Senate; Member, University of Florida Board of Trustees, said, “Governor Scott’s commitment to top 10 status for the University of Florida will have a very positive effect on our faculty and students. It will enhance education at UF by enabling us to attract the very best faculty and retain those we have. These are the professionals who keep UF on the cutting edge and send our graduates into the workplace with the knowledge and skills they need to excel.”

Jason Rosenberg, President, University of Florida Alumni Association, said “The alumni of the University of Florida applaud Governor Scott and President Machen as they announce today their plan to make UF one of our nation’s top public universities. Our 390,000 alumni stand with our alma mater and pledge to assist with the hard work ahead. A top 10 University of Florida will benefit all of Florida’s universities and students, so this commitment isn’t just about UF. It’s about making our entire state university system more competitive and living up to the promise for our students. Today, as always, it is great to be a Florida Gator and a Floridian for Higher Education.”

T.J. Villamil, University of Florida Student Body President said, “Governor Scott’s budget embodies a commitment to see any state dollars to the University of Florida as an investment, not an expense. This commitment to keeping our State University System affordable ensures accessibility to a great university education.”

Scott Staples, Mindtree Co-founder and President of the Americas said, “Governor Scott’s recommended budget makes sure Florida students can get a quality and an affordable education to ensure they are prepared for the workforce of the 21st century. Mindtree is committed to Florida because we know the Sunshine State has talented students graduating that will make great employees for our company.”



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