FIU should not be bound to state metrics

Public universities in Florida are bound by certain state metrics. These include things like the amount of graduating students in areas of strategic emphasis, percent of employed Bachelor’s degree recipients, among others.

Universities who don’t meet these requirements have their funding cut. 

For the most part, these metrics make sense and are desirable; as they provide standards school must follow to ensure good quality.

But schools like FIU are different from most public universities, and being bound to the same metrics is unfair and unnecessary.

One of the metrics, for example,  aims to regulate the university’s four year graduation rate.

For FIU, this is extremely inconvenient, since we are a commuter school. 

Many of our students, by virtue of living far away and having jobs outside of school, attend school part time.

This also happens because many of our students are older and have different responsibilities.

All of this lowers the four year graduation rate and may cause FIU to lose some of its funding.

We do not believe that these metrics should be changed for the entire state, since they are appropriate for most Florida schools.

Rather, FIU’s Student Government Association should team up with the SGA’s of other similar universities, such as Florida Atlantic University, to draft a joint petition to the Florida State Legislature.

The goal would be to change the graduation rate metric for schools that can prove their demographic justifies them not meeting certain metrics.

To accomplish this, such schools will need to be united in their stipulation of what makes them distinct.

We should not be losing money for being different.

Any laws applied uniformly without any consideration of the differences that characterize individual schools are laws that should be reevaluated and made more comprehensive.

Such an initiative is more doable now since our state now has a new Governor: Ron DeSantis.

 A fresh administration could be the great facilitator in terms of making more efficient the laws that govern our education system.

Especially given the fact that the previous administration was characterized by an excess of policies.

If these universities take action, it would also be a motivating indicator of how institutions are willing and able to be politically active.

That schools are not just graduation mills, but centers of dynamic thought and action.

What is clear is that schools like ours have their own special characteristics and should not be bound to vague, all-encompassing metrics.

FIU and other schools have proven their quality, hard work, and commitment with the future, and should not be financially mutilated due to simple circumstances.

Let us change the metrics that govern us and keep contributing to a better, brighter city, state and country.

Photo by Florida International University at FIU Flickr


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