Two Florida Universities Get Special Designation

By: Associated Press; Lanetra Bennett Email
By: Associated Press; Lanetra Bennett Email

By: Lanetra Bennett
June 11, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - The University of Florida and Florida State University have officially been deemed “preeminent,” following a vote Monday by the Board of Governors.

The designation, set in statute during this year’s legislative session, comes with additional resources and flexibilities for those institutions that meet a number of performance benchmarks.

FSU President Dr. Eric Barron says being deemed preeminent means this year, FSU will get an additional 15 million in recurring dollars from the state.

Dr. Barron says, "That's the first investment in innovation and new opportunity that this university has had n a very long time. We're going to do great things with the money, too. We really are."

Dr. Barron says the plan includes spending the funds on focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math, focusing on scholarships to bring students with high scores in those subjects to FSU, and focusing on attracting the best faculty in the country.

FSU Student Kayla Ritenour says, "We've seen all the stuff that SGA alone can do with their funding for the school. So, having more money and getting the better funding for the professors would be awesome."

Dr. Barron says the plan is to also focus on becoming an entrepreneurial university, focus on career placement, and focus on student graduation and retention.

Ritenour's mother, Joanie Ritenour, says, "Hopefully it'll open up some new programs for kids that want to come to FSU that maybe haven't been able to come. I'm really hoping it's going to make an advancement for all the kids."

The preeminence status is expected to also boost Florida State in rankings.

"It's just nice to think, hey, we're high up in the rating, because FSU's the best. It's nice to know that we're up there." Says, Ritenour.

Dr. Barron says if FSU proves its making the investments wisely, the concept is to provide an additional 15 million dollar increase each year for five years.

Associated Press Release

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Two of Florida's established universities are being officially designated as the state's preeminent research universities.

The Florida Board of Governors voted Monday to give the title to both the University of Florida and Florida State University. The decision not only brings a bit of extra prestige, but it also means millions in additional money from the Florida Legislature.

UF, which is based in Gainesville, met 12 of the 12 standards used for the designation. FSU, which is based in Tallahassee, met 11.

The standards include such criteria as spending on research, six-year graduation rates, the number of doctoral degrees awarded and the number of patents awarded.

UF's designation also earns the university the right to set up a program where the school will offer four-year degrees completely online.

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