Each year, Florida State University administrators identify priorities determined to be vital to the operation and growth of the university. Below were the top priorities for the 2016 Legislative Session, which began on January 12th and ended on March 11th. Session outcomes are listed after each priority.
The legislature established criteria for state universities to meet in order to achieve preeminent status. FSU meets all 12 of the 12 metrics required for preeminence, which supplements the university’s annual base budget with $25 million in preeminence funding. This enhancement has, to date, allowed Florida State to hire 57 new faculty members in STEM fields and other disciplines, and take on 23 campus-based entrepreneurs, who teach students how to turn their ideas and innovations into practical enterprises. Boosting preeminence funding by an additional $10 million will allow FSU to stay nationally competitive in its efforts to attract top-tier faculty, particularly in STEM fields, and move into the Top 25 among public universities.
In addition, performance-based funding is allocated to state universities that exceed Board of Governors benchmarks and FSU anticipates again surpassing these standards, making performance-based funding an ongoing priority for 2016.
Outcome: The legislature appropriated an additional $10 million for preeminence to Florida State, for a total of $35 million in annual recurring preeminence funding. In addition, $500 million in performance funds, which are tied to a set of BOG metrics distinct from the legislature’s preeminence metrics, also passed this session.
A number of factors have negatively impacted state revenue sources dedicated to the construction, renovation and expansion of educational facilities. As such, facility priorities at Florida State include:
In 2011, the Courtelis Matching Gift program was suspended and, consequently, no gifts from that point forward qualified for a state match. However, Florida State still had more than $10.5 million in prior gifts waiting to be matched before the suspension. These donations are critical to facilities construction and Florida State requests this program be reinstated and the prior-gift backlog be fully funded.
Outcome: Was not addressed
FSU requests that last year’s $1 million non-recurring allocation be made recurring. This revenue will be divided between student scholarships (approximately $600,000) and two additional faculty hires (approximately $400,000) to enhance the Law School’s ability to attract and retain high-achieving students, improve its student-faculty ratio, and maintain the FSU College of Law’s Top 25 national standing among public law schools.
Outcome: The legislature funded this project.
To improve the academic quality, research rigor, efficiency and efficacy of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, critical investments are required. These funds will allow for the hiring of five additional faculty members in areas of strategic need, and address the cost of equipment, technology, labs, and other research essentials for all newly hired engineering faculty. Benefits to the state include marked increases in degree-holders in core engineering fields, levels of external-grant funding, number of patents filed, startup companies launched, and the commercialization of research products.
Outcome: Was not addressed
Black Student Union Renovation The legislature appropriated $1.5 million for this project.