Editorial: Beyond 2020 plan requires collaboration

Since its founding, FIU has grown into a world-class institution, transforming the community and ensuring that its students thrive. As the face of higher education changes, so must FIU, which is why the institution introduced the FIU “Beyond Possible 2020” strategic plan, a roadmap that places down 20 critical performance indicator goals for the future.

President Mark Rosenberg said its focus is on students to prepare them to “graduate in a timely manner so that they can take good jobs, create good jobs and make a good life.”

This is part of FIU’s goal to boost its six-year graduation rate from 53 to 70 percent, improve its retention rate of first- and second-year students from 78 to 90 percent and strategically increase its enrollment to 65,000, among other goals.

However, the University faces the complication of finding a way to increase enrollment while increasing the graduation rate. As the unemployment rate decreased, FIU’s own enrollment rate slowed down, but fortunately, still maintains a decent pace. Moreover, FIU does not have the ample space to house an increased number of enrolled students should the university reach its goal of 65,000 by 2020.

While increasing enrollment and having increased education opportunities is a good thing, an enrollment boom could lead to negative consequences. The student–faculty ratio will sharply increase, leaving students with less access to professors and teaching assistants. 

What makes the Beyond 2020 plan different from others is it’s an alignment between the Florida Board of Governors’ Performance Funding Model. This means that the University is following a performance-based funding model, and based on FIU’s ability to perform in certain areas, the institution will receive financial rewards for scoring well. However, the system can also punish the institution if it performs poorly. This could lead to unintended consequences such as weakened academic standards and tightened admissions policies.

To ensure the the success of the institution and its students, the plan must be a collaborative effort between the institution and its students.

FIU’s mission is committed to high-quality teaching, creative activity and collaborative efforts, and students deserve the comfort and quality education they need to fully succeed.

 

Photo taken from Flickr.

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