State-wide strategic plan approved

By: Philippe Buteau/News Director

At its most recent meeting, the Board of Governors of the State University System approved new or updated components and a set of performance indicators for the 11 state universities called the “Board of Governors’ Strategic Plan for the State University of Florida: 2012-2025.”

The benchmarks, according to a press release from the SUS, will revolve around three key themes: excellence, productivity and strategic priorities for a knowledge economy. The BoG’s strategic planning committee identified the components and indicators for the 13-year period after a special workshop in January 2011. The current strategic plan which started in 2005 will last through 2013.

The committee’s new plan aims at increasing degree production at all levels but especially for minorities and the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The committee also wants to increase the SUS’s “nationally competitive standing” gained in several areas, particularly research and development spending, and tied in commercialization opportunities.

“The work product of this committee during the past 18 months – with all of the research, vetting and data review from across the nation – is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Chairman of the planning committee Frank T. Martin. “It is also good public policy direction for the future of our public universities, providing us with new or amended performance indicators that we will monitor closely.”

Input from the public, the state legislature and governmental policy staff played a major role in the development of the changed set of performance indicators, according to the press release. It also said input from the SUS’ stakeholders will be important when coming up with tracking systems for new data streams needed to come up with any additions or changes for the “dashboard” in the 2012 annual report.

The 2010 annual report is available on the SUS website but the 2011 report has yet to be released. The BoG will release the 2011 annual report on Jan. 18 and 19, 2012 and Ava L. Parker, chairwoman of the BoG, will present it.

Some of the new goals and increased outcomes for the strategic plan are as follows:

Increase the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded each year from 53,000 to 90,000.

All universities in the state system will have Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification.

Increase the number of freshmen in the SUS who were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating from 28 percent to 59 percent.

Currently seven of the 11 universities, including FIU, have the certification, which is a national indicator of a public university’s commitment to community engagement. Carnegie defines community engagement as the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities – local, regional/state, national, global – for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources. This goal falls under the plan’s excellence area.

On the faculty side, the new plan wants to increase the number of faculty in the SUS who are members of National Academies from 38 to 75, thus increasing the SUS’ national ranking from 10th to fifth.

The above goals and the rest, which are in the full plan available on the SUS’ website, are necessary to “demonstrate to the legislature and other stakeholders the board is meeting its constiutional obligations and responsibilities to oversee a coordinated and accountable [SUS],” according to Parker and Martin.

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