Florida to provide extra funding for faculty salaries, research
On Monday, Governor Rick Scott of Florida signed a bill that gives special status and increased funding to Florida’s top two universities. The bill designates the University of Florida and Florida State University as “pre-eminent” universities and provides them with an extra $15 million per year, for five years, to help them become two of the top ten research universities in the nation. The money pays for increased faculty salaries and more research funding. In addition, legislators are considering restoring $300 million in funding that was cut in the 2012 legislative session. The bill also relieves the two universities of certain onerous reporting requirements. Eric Barron, president of Florida State, claims the increased funding will not only improve the quality of education at his university but also improve the return on investment of state money, because prominent faculty members will not be “raided” by other institutions were they would be paid much more.
The bill also provides $10 million more in funding for online degree programs this year, with $5 million appropriated in subsequent years. Tuition for online programs is capped to 75 percent of tuition for on-campus programs. The legislature would like to see increased out-of-state enrollment in these online courses, as online degree programs have already provided an additional $70 million in revenue a year for the University of Florida.
To read more about the Florida legislation, check out the Chronicle’s article here. To read about current proposals for higher education funding in Washington state, please see our recent briefs on Governor Inslee’s budget priorities or the Senate and House budgets.