Joined by U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and three
new Board members, the Board of Governors this week took up
several important initiatives to advance the State University System.
The Board of Governors held its annual Trustee Summit this week and moved forward on several important proposals to push the State University System to the next level.
The Summit, an annual gathering of trustees from all 12 universities, included keynote speaker U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, who spoke about student apprenticeships. Trustees and Board of Governors’ members also took part in discussions about improving student outcomes, enhancing engagement with the business community, and effective trusteeship.
The Board also selected Vice Chair Ned Lautenbach as its new chair and Governor Sydney Kitson as its vice chair for the term beginning January 1, 2018 and ending December 31, 2019. They will succeed Chair Thomas Kuntz, whose two-year tenure has resulted in great strides for the System, including in his key focus areas of aligning degrees with the state workforce, enhancing 2+2 articulation, and raising the State University System’s research profile. U.S. News & World Report also named Florida the 2017 Best State for Higher Education.
“The past two years have been extremely rewarding as we have seen many of our goals for the System come to fruition,” Chair Kuntz said. “Serving as chair has been a great honor, and I’m confident the Board’s new chair and vice chair will continue the System’s trajectory toward excellence.”
Additional meeting highlights include:
- The Board was joined by three new members. Governors Tim Cerio, Jay Patel, and Zach Zachariah were appointed recently by Governor Rick Scott.
- Board members appointed 10 new universities trustees, including Ms. Kimberly Moore, FAMU, Mr. Brent Burns, FAU, Mr. Richard Eide, FGCU, Mr. Roger Tovar, FIU, Dr. Louis Saco, Florida Poly, Mr. Jim Henderson, FSU, Mr. George Skestos, New College, Ms. Beverly Seay, UCF, Dr. Anne Egan, UNF, and Ms. Suzanne Lewis, UWF. Appointments are subject to attending Board of Governors’ orientation, the Trustee Summit, and confirmation by the Florida Senate.
- The Board approved a motion of support for FSU’s actions following last week’s student death, with the Board and universities reaffirming their commitment to work together and ensure that a campus culture of student safety and health is a top priority.
- Universities and colleges are successfully closing workforce gaps in high-demand areas through the Targeted Educational Grant Program, known as the TEAm Grant initiative. The four teams, made up of universities and colleges, have met their enrollment and graduation goals, demonstrating their commitment to being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and meeting the needs of the workforce. The program is funded through $15 million in competitive grants allocated by the Governor and Legislature to address the state’s job needs.
- The Board made updates to its performance funding model. The changes will take into account the cost for books when measuring average cost-to-the-student and changing the Board of Governors’ choice metric for UF, FSU and New College to the percentage of degrees awarded without excess credit hours.
- Universities shared their plans for increasing police officers and mental health services on campus as part of a systemwide effort to ensure student safety and make sure students have access to the resources they need.
- New College of Florida reported its progress on implementing its growth plan, which includes an enrollment increase to 1,200 students. The university received $5.4 million for the first installment of its plan during the 2016 legislative session.
- The Board heard a progress report on the implementation of the 2025 Strategic Plan for Online Education, which was initially approved in November of 2015.
- The Board approved its annual PECO list, with special priority on critical deferred maintenance.
- The Board confirmed the reappointment of Larry Robinson as Interim President of FAMU. Additionally, the Board granted FAMU’s request for a waiver from the Board of Governors’ guideline requiring a national presidential search.
For more information, consult the meeting’s official minutes at http://www.flbog.edu/. The Board’s next meeting is scheduled for January 24-25 at Florida State University in Tallahassee.