Major effort concluded after national vetting, extensive data research
Strategic Planning Committee Chair: ‘Now we move quickly toward identifying the implementation strategies for every single goal and outcome to be achieved in the next 15 years’
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—The Florida Board of Governors of the State University System voted at its most recent meeting to approve the “Board of Governors’ Strategic Plan for the State University System of Florida: 2012-2025,” featuring an array of new or updated components and performance metrics that will revolve around three key themes – Excellence, Productivity, and Strategic Priorities for a Knowledge Economy – and reflect a major milestone and achievement by the Board of Governors, and its stakeholders and partners in the effort.
The three key areas align to the beginning of this intensive effort, which started with a planning conversation in the summer of 2010 and then “kicked off” in earnest at a Board of Governors’ special workshop in January devoted to the future of the State University System. The workshop provided detailed input and guidance to the Strategic Planning Committee, and its charge to provide a new Strategic Plan. The Committee identified increased or new goals and performance indicators for the 13-year period through 2025. The most recent Strategic Plan, conducted nearly 10 years ago, was dated 2005-2013. The Strategic Planning Committee is one of the standing committees of the Board of Governors, which is tasked in Article IX, Section 7(d), Florida Constitution, to “operate, regulate, control, and be fully responsible for the management of the whole university system.” The Board, as the governing body for the State University System of Florida, strongly believes that the future of Florida is dependent upon a high-quality, comprehensive and efficient system of public institutions. There are 11 institutions in the State University System of Florida, with more 322,000 students enrolled at all levels.
The Strategic Planning Committee worked on an aggressive timetable to produce the document by year-end. It includes such ambitious targets as increased degree production at all levels, especially for minorities and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). The State University System of Florida is already in the top 10 and top 6 nationally for overall graduations rates and minority graduation rates, respectively. The plan also recognizes and serves to increase the nationally competitive standing that the State University System has attained in several areas, particularly research and development (R&D) expenditures, and corresponding commercialization opportunities that produce dozens of new businesses and jobs in Florida each year.
“The work product of this committee during the past 18 months – with all of the research, vetting and data review from across the nation – is nothing short of extraordinary, and it is also good public policy direction for the future of our public universities, providing us with new or amended performance indicators that we will monitor closely,” said Frank T. Martin of Tallahassee, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and a global expert in transportation issues. He currently serves on several national transportation boards, including the American Public Transportation Association.
“I want to thank all of my fellow Board members – for their input and support along the way, for the particularly productive January workshop earlier this year, and for the intensive meetings this summer to stay on track and finalize our work by the end of this year. This is a sound and thorough framework that represents extensive analysis and conversation with stakeholders. The work is not done – now we move quickly toward identifying the implementation strategies for every single goal and outcome to be achieved in the next 15 years for the State University System of Florida.”
The Board of Governors re-emphasized in this Strategic Plan the nationally renowned tripartite commitment of American public universities: Teaching, Research, and Public Service. Performance indicators that are found today in the Board of Governors’ Annual Report (posted at www.flbog.edu) will be changed, added to, or otherwise addressed in the 2012 Annual Report released in January 2013. Input from the public, the Legislature and governmental policy staff played a major role in the development of the augmented “dashboard” of performance measurements that debuted several years ago. Input again from all stakeholders will be vital in the design of tracking mechanisms necessary for new data streams required to produce any additions or changes for the dashboard in the 2012 Annual Report.
The 2011 Annual Report will be released and presented by the Board Chair at the Jan. 18-19 Board of Governors meeting in Tallahassee. The Annual Report has undergone significant enhancements the past two consecutive years, and is quickly evolving into a leading model for accountability among public university systems nationally. This year, for instance, a set of brand-new “interactive” web-based features for users will be unveiled when the 2011 Annual Report is presented in January.
In the new Strategic Plan, there are many new goals and increased outcomes set for existing goals. A few examples include:
· Today, the System awards more than 53,000 baccalaureate degrees each year. The 2025 goal is 90,000 a year, in order to raise the state-level attainment of degreed citizens, and contribute to the national-level goals. Americans with four-year degrees has been falling significantly in relation to the attainment of foreign countries. (The universities’ own annual work plans already address this degree production as well.)
· In the “Excellence” area, the number of institutions in the System that currently have Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification is seven. The Board set a target for all institutions in 2025 to have this classification, as it is a premier national indicator of a public university’s commitment to community engagement.
· In the “Productivity” area, we have an initial data capture of the percentage of students participating in identified business engagement activities – this is currently estimated at about 35 percent. This represents a new metric created in the Strategic Plan, and the Board staff will consult with the campus professionals regarding how to best define and track this new item.
· Today, 28 percent of all freshmen students in the System were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. By 2025, the Strategic Plan goal raises that to 50 percent.
· Faculty membership across the System in National Academies is 38, ranking the System 10th nationally. By 2025, the goal is to have 75 and be ranked approximately fifth in the nation.
· Today, the number of licenses (from R&D discoveries) and options executed is about 150 annually. The 2025 goal is 250 annually.
The full Strategic Plan document is posted at www.flbog.edu/pressroom. The new Strategic Plan goals are detailed beginning on page 19. (Keep in mind, some states have more than one public university system – Florida has one university system.)
Also, as part of the Strategic Planning Committee process throughout 2011, several Board regulations also were developed or updated to promote the collaboration and coordination of academic degree program delivery across the State University System. (Eds: Board “regulations” are not the same as state “rules”.) Some existing language in Board regulations was amended to clarify the approval processes for campuses and other educational sites by delineating responsibilities between the Board of Governors and universities’ Boards of Trustees. Two regulations specifically were amended from language in the 1970s-80s during the time pre-dating the Board of Governors (operating as the Board of Regents), when the System was much smaller with fewer universities. That language also did not include the university Boards of Trustees – as those bodies were established in the past decade.
As Board Chair Ava L. Parker and Committee Chair Frank Martin have stated, updating these Board regulations has been critical and necessary, in order to ensure that there is no unwarranted duplication in the System – and to demonstrate to the Legislature and other stakeholders that the Board is meeting its constitutional obligations and responsibilities to oversee a coordinated, accountable State University System.
About the State University System of Florida
The State University System of Florida is governed by a 17-member Board of Governors, a constitutional body and led by appointed public servants. The System is comprised of 11 institutions with a total enrollment of more than 320,000 students, making it the fourth-largest public university system in the nation in terms of enrollment (some states have more than one university system). The Florida Constitution (Article IX, Section 7) was amended by the state’s voters in 2002 to establish a statewide system of governance for all Florida public universities. As a result, the Florida Board of Governors was created in 2003 to oversee the State University System of Florida. Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and ensuring the well-planned coordination and operation of the System. The Board’s 17 members include 14 appointed by the Governor, with three serving by virtue of their designations (a faculty member, a Florida Student Association student representative, and the Florida Commissioner of Education). The Board of Governors appoints a Chancellor who serves as the chief executive and administrative officer of the State University System. For more, including the Board’s Annual Report that reflects accountability measurements and benchmarks occurring at each institution, see www.flbog.edu.