(1) STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM SHARED GOVERNANCE COLLABORATION.–A collaborative partnership is established between the Board of Governors and the Legislature to elevate the academic and research preeminence of Florida’s highest-performing state research universities in accordance with this section. The partnership stems from the State University System Governance Agreement executed on March 24, 2010, wherein the Board of Governors and leaders of the Legislature agreed to a framework for the collaborative exercise of their joint authority and shared responsibility for the State University System. The governance agreement confirmed the commitment of the Board of Governors and the Legislature to continue collaboration on accountability measures, the use of data, and recommendations derived from such data.
(2) ACADEMIC AND RESEARCH EXCELLENCE STANDARDS.–The following academic and research excellence standards are established for the preeminent state research universities program and shall be reported annually in the Board of Governors Accountability Plan:
(a) An average weighted grade point average of 4.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale and an average SAT score of 1200 or higher on a 1600-point scale or an average ACT score of 25 or higher on a 36 score scale, using the latest published national concordance table developed jointly by the College Board and ACT, Inc., for fall semester incoming freshmen, as reported annually.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 1001.7065
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
- Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
- User fees: Fees charged to users of goods or services provided by the government. In levying or authorizing these fees, the legislature determines whether the revenue should go into the treasury or should be available to the agency providing the goods or services.
(b) A top-50 ranking on at least two well-known and highly respected national public university rankings, including, but not limited to, the U.S. News and World Report rankings, reflecting national preeminence, using most recent rankings.
(c) A freshman retention rate of 90 percent or higher for full-time, first-time-in-college students.
(d) A 4-year graduation rate of 60 percent or higher for full-time, first-time-in-college students.
(e) Six or more faculty members at the state university who are members of a national academy.
(f) Total annual research expenditures, including federal research expenditures, of $200 million or more.
(g) Total annual research expenditures in diversified nonmedical sciences of $150 million or more.
(h) A top-100 university national ranking for research expenditures in five or more science, technology, engineering, or mathematics fields of study.
(i) One hundred or more total patents awarded by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the most recent 3-year period.
(j) Four hundred or more doctoral degrees awarded annually, including professional doctoral degrees awarded in medical and health care disciplines.
(k) Two hundred or more postdoctoral appointees annually.
(l) An endowment of $500 million or more.
(3) PREEMINENT STATE RESEARCH UNIVERSITY DESIGNATION.–
(a) The Board of Governors shall designate each state university that annually meets at least 11 of the 12 academic and research excellence standards identified in subsection (2) as a “preeminent state research university.”
(b) The Board of Governors shall designate each state university that annually meets at least 6 of the 12 academic and research excellence standards identified in subsection (2) as an “emerging preeminent state research university.”
(4) PREEMINENT STATE RESEARCH UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE FOR ONLINE LEARNING.–A state research university that, as of July 1, 2013, meets all 12 of the academic and research excellence standards identified in subsection (2), as verified by the Board of Governors, shall establish an institute for online learning. The institute shall establish a robust offering of high-quality, fully online baccalaureate degree programs at an affordable cost in accordance with this subsection.
(a) Beginning in January 2014, the university shall offer high-quality, fully online baccalaureate degree programs that:
1. Accept full-time, first-time-in-college students.
2. Have the same rigorous admissions criteria as equivalent on-campus degree programs.
3. Offer curriculum of equivalent rigor to on-campus degree programs.
4. Offer rolling enrollment or multiple opportunities for enrollment throughout the year.
5. Do not require any on-campus courses. However, for courses or programs that require clinical training or laboratories that cannot be delivered online, the university shall offer convenient locational options to the student, which may include, but are not limited to, the option to complete such requirements at a summer-in-residence on the university campus. The university may provide a network of sites at convenient locations and contract with commercial testing centers or identify other secure testing services for the purpose of proctoring assessments or testing.
6. Apply the university’s existing policy for accepting credits for both freshman applicants and transfer applicants.
(b) The university may offer a fully online Master’s in Business Administration degree program and other master’s degree programs.
(c) The university may develop and offer degree programs and courses that are competency based as appropriate for the quality and success of the program.
(d) The university shall periodically expand its offering of online baccalaureate degree programs to meet student and market demands.
(e) The university shall establish a tuition structure for its online institute in accordance with this paragraph, notwithstanding any other provision of law.
1. For students classified as residents for tuition purposes, tuition for an online baccalaureate degree program shall be set at no more than 75 percent of the tuition rate as specified in the General Appropriations Act pursuant to s. 1009.24(4) and 75 percent of the tuition differential pursuant to s. 1009.24(16). No distance learning fee, fee for campus facilities, or fee for on-campus services may be assessed, except that online students shall pay the university’s technology fee, financial aid fee, and Capital Improvement Trust Fund fee. The revenues generated from the Capital Improvement Trust Fund fee shall be dedicated to the university’s institute for online learning.
2. For students classified as nonresidents for tuition purposes, tuition may be set at market rates in accordance with the business plan.
3. Tuition for an online degree program shall include all costs associated with instruction, materials, and enrollment, excluding costs associated with the provision of textbooks and instructional materials pursuant to s. 1004.085 and physical laboratory supplies.
4. Subject to the limitations in subparagraph 1., tuition may be differentiated by degree program as appropriate to the instructional and other costs of the program in accordance with the business plan. Pricing must incorporate innovative approaches that incentivize persistence and completion, including, but not limited to, a fee for assessment, a bundled or all-inclusive rate, and sliding scale features.
5. The university must accept advance payment contracts and student financial aid.
6. Fifty percent of the net revenues generated from the online institute of the university shall be used to enhance and enrich the online institute offerings, and 50 percent of the net revenues generated from the online institute shall be used to enhance and enrich the university’s campus state-of-the-art research programs and facilities.
7. The institute may charge additional local user fees pursuant to s. 1009.24(14) upon the approval of the Board of Governors.
8. The institute shall submit a proposal to the president of the university authorizing additional user fees for the provision of voluntary student participation in activities and additional student services.
(5) PREEMINENT STATE RESEARCH UNIVERSITIES PROGRAM SUPPORT.–
(a) A state university that is designated as a preeminent state research university shall submit to the Board of Governors a 5-year benchmark plan with target rankings on key performance metrics for national excellence. Upon approval by the Board of Governors, and upon the university’s meeting the benchmark plan goals annually, the Board of Governors shall award the university its proportionate share of any funds provided annually to support the program created under this section.
(b) A state university designated as an emerging preeminent state research university shall submit to the Board of Governors a 5-year benchmark plan with target rankings on key performance metrics for national excellence.
(c) The award of funds under this subsection is contingent upon funding provided by the Legislature to support the preeminent state research universities program created under this section. Funding increases appropriated beyond the amounts funded in the previous fiscal year shall be distributed to each designated preeminent state research university that meets the criteria in paragraph (a). Each designated preeminent state research university shall receive an equal amount of funding.
(6) PREEMINENT STATE RESEARCH UNIVERSITY FLEXIBILITY AUTHORITY.–The Board of Governors is encouraged to identify and grant all reasonable, feasible authority and flexibility to ensure that each designated preeminent state research university and each designated emerging preeminent state research university is free from unnecessary restrictions.
(7) STATE UNIVERSITIES OF DISTINCTION THROUGHOUT THE STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM.–The Board of Governors shall establish standards and measures whereby state universities that focus on one core competency unique to the State University System that achieves excellence at the national or state level, meets state workforce needs, and fosters an innovation economy that focuses on areas such as health care, security, transportation, and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), including supply chain management, can be identified. The Board of Governors may annually submit such programs, excluding those from preeminent state research universities, to the Legislature by January 1 for funding.