Highlights from Board of Governors meeting

Written by: Philippe Buteau/Staff Writer

The State University System’s Board of Governors updated the performance funding model and approved for the first time a system wide Strategic Plan for Online Education during their two-day marathon of meetings.

The Board approved a tiebreaker for its performance funding model and agreed to change the model from a 25-point to a 50-point scale.

The Strategic Plan for Online Education charts a path for online education out to the year 2025 and continues the system’s growth in online student enrollments as well as strategies to reduce student and institutional costs.

The BoG focused on innovation and student success with their passing of the above measures, which were former Board Chairman Mori Hosseini’s initiatives.

“The opportunities in front of us with online education are enormous, and our state can only gain the full benefit of that if we establish ambitious goals and a plan to meet them,” Hosseini said.

For the second consecutive year, the University hosted the Board of Governors’ Trustee Summit which took place simultaneously with the Board meeting. The event took place at the Graham Center Ballrooms Wednesday, Nov. 4 and Thursday, Nov. 5.

The University’s Board of Trustees members and University President, Mark B. Rosenberg welcomed speakers Benno Schmidt, chairman of the City University of New York; Ken Ford, founder and CEO of the Institute for Human Cognition and Albert Manero, the inventor of the bionic arm prototype.

Manero, the founder of Limbitless Solutions, announced during the meeting that his nonprofit is working on a “12 Arms for Christmas” initiative, which will deliver 12 prosthetic arms to children in 11 states around the country in time for the holidays. Limbitless has now added a team of students from the University of Florida as the first Limbitless branch site.

“This initiative provides an opportunity for us to give arms to more children while at the same time training dozens more engineers to use this technology,” said Manero, who’s earning a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering.  “It puts us one step closer to ensuring that families do not have to pay for their child to receive an arm.”

Governor Rick Scott spoke to the Board of Governors and the university’s boards of trustees Nov. 4 about the importance of being responsive to the state workforce and preparing students for successful careers.

The speech followed a letter to university stakeholders in which he asked for feedback on how universities can meet the demand of Florida’s fastest-growing companies and increase communication with students about the salaries they can expect by degree.

Department of Economic Opportunity Director, Jesse Panuccio, who was Scott’s general counsel’s office from January 2011 to 2013, updated Board members on the health of Florida’s economy.

Jobs in Florida grew by 3.4 percent since Scott took office. It’s the fastest of the nation’s ten most populous states.

Panuccio also touted Think Florida: A Higher Degree for Business, the State University System’s unified campaign to build connections with the business community.

The Board heard a presentation on the success of Florida’s Targeted Educational Attainment Grant Program. The TEAm Grant Initiative, funded with $15 million from the Governor and Legislature, debuted in early 2014 and is “helping to close workforce gaps in accounting and computer information and technology,” according to an SUS press release.

Florida Student Association President and Board of Governors’ Student Representative, Tonnette Graham, updated the Board on campus food pantry initiatives. Graham said 10 universities have food pantries on their campuses and others are in the planning stages.


Image by Camila Fernandez/FIUSM Staff

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