Demonstrating the highest level of achievement since performance funding was implemented, the Board of Governors on Wednesday released its latest data. The numbers, discussed during the Board’s Budget and Finance Committee, show marked improvement in nearly all metrics since the Board introduced its performance funding model five years ago, with continued year-over-year gains between the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years. Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature invested $560 million in performance funding for the 2018-19 year to reward universities that demonstrate excellence or improvement in areas that benefit students, families and taxpayers, including graduation and retention rates as well as cost-to-the-student.
Governor Rick Scott said, “Florida’s universities continue to deliver results for our students. I am proud that we have been able to hold the line on tuition in our state while still being able to make historic investments. We will never stop working to make Florida the best state in the nation for higher education.”
This year’s numbers, which pend approval by the full Board, show that universities are increasingly crowding near the top of the 100-point scale. The University of Florida earned 93 points, followed by Florida International University, which earned 90. Florida State University, the University of South Florida and the University of West Florida all earned 86 points. The Board implemented its “tiebreaker” procedure, approved in 2015, to determine that Florida State University would achieve the “top three” status and receive the associated funding. In the past three years, the average score has increased 10 points to 81.
“In the first year of performance funding, universities were crowded near the bottom with several earning less than half of the available points,” said Syd Kitson, vice chair of the Board of Governors and chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. “The difference between then and now is remarkable.”
Other highlights include:
- The number of bachelor’s degrees awarded without excess hours has increased by 9.9 percent, with five universities achieving the maximum 10 points on the metric.
- While nearly every institution is showing strong improvements in graduation rates, Florida State University had the highest four-year graduation rate in the System, at 68.4 percent.
- Performance funding has resulted in the State University System exceeding its goal for bachelor’s degrees in areas of strategic emphasis, with eight institutions scoring 10 points on this metric.
- The University of Florida earned the maximum 10 points in seven metrics, and New College of Florida earned 10 points in five metrics.
- In the past year, Florida International University increased its score by 22 points, Florida Atlantic University by 12 points, and University of North Florida by 10 points.
“Even as costs decrease for students, university quality continues to improve,” said Marshall Criser III, chancellor of the State University System. “That combination is why U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Florida the No. 1 state for higher education for the second year in a row, and it’s why we continue to insist that student success is at the center of everything we do.”