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University Beat

USF Earns 2nd Most $ in Gov's Performance Reward Funding

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USF Communications & Marketing

For the third time, the Florida Board of Governors will dole out performance-based 'bonus' funds to the state's public universities, and for the third time, the University of South Florida System placed near the top of the list.

According to ratings released by the Board Wednesday, USF finished second among the 11 universities rated (Florida Polytechnic hasn't been in existence long enough to merit rating), trailing only the University of Florida.

Schools are rated on 10 metrics covering such topics as students graduating with degrees in high-wage, high-demand areas; students graduating in six years or less; and wages earned by new graduates.

USF officials said improvements were seen in a number of areas since last year:

  • Initiatives to ensure students are prepared for successful careers are working, with 75 percent of recent alumni employed or continuing their education a year after graduating. That represents a year-over-year gain of 5 percent.
  • USF’s six-year graduation rate was 66 percent, up 3 percent.
  • The number of students graduating without excess hours was up 6 percent.
  • The number of students graduating with bachelor’s degrees in high-wage, high-demand areas was up 1 percent to 51 percent, while the percentage of graduate degrees in high-wage, high-demand areas was unchanged at 69 percent, the second-highest university in that metric.

“Performance-based accountability is part of the USF System’s DNA,” USF System President Judy Genshaft said. “We are grateful that our efforts to improve student success and post-graduation opportunities for students are again being validated by the Board of Governors.”
“Performance funding signifies a new era for our State University System, one that places a renewed emphasis on university accountability,” Board of Governors Chair Mori Hosseini added. “USF has made strategic investments in its students, and that focus is paying off.”

USF was also ranked second in 2014-2015 and received $22.2 million of the state's $200 million in performance-based funds. They were tied for first in 2013-2014, the first year of rankings, and received $2.6 million out of a $20 million pot.

Governor Rick Scott has proposed a performance fund of $460 million this year, but the final amount, along with the award USF will receive, will be determined by the final state budget.