Florida Universities Cashing In On New Legislative Funding Sources
Florida universities can start making plans to spend two new pots of money lawmakers created earlier this year.
The University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida earned the highest scores — and therefore the most money — in the first round of performance-based funding for state universities. The Board of Governors said they released the money to schools Wednesday.
State universities will split $20 million based on how well they did in three measures: percentage of bachelor’s graduates employed or back in school a year later; average full-time wage for graduates a year after earning their degree; and average institutional cost per undergraduate. Schools earned between zero and three points depending on how well they did (see the chart below).
UCF and USF both earned six points, 13 percent of the 46 total points scored by state universities. Those scores earned UCF and USF 13 percent of the $20 million pot, or $2.6 million each.
Only graduates working in Florida are included in the data.
State lawmakers created the performance funding earlier this year. The Board of Governors is asking lawmakers to increase the pot to $50 million next year, tied to 10 performance measures.
The University of Florida also announced how it will spend the first $15 million lawmakers set aside to help state research universities compete with top schools in other states.
The university says it plans to hire between 75 and 100 employees in 16 research areas. The biggest chunk of the money, $3.8 million, will be spent on researching the growing collecting and sifting of information — what the school has dubbed Big Data.
“The big data effort pulls together some of our best faculty from across the university at an auspicious moment for this new science,” UF president Bernie Machen said in a statement. “With the right hires, we can be at the frontier.”
Read more about how the university will spend the $15 million here.