Board of Governors clears UF, FSU for pre-eminence

Published: Monday, June 10, 2013 at 6:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 10, 2013 at 6:07 p.m.

The University of Florida and Florida State University have been named as the state's pre-eminent public research universities.

The Board of Governors voted unanimously without discussion Monday on the designation, which also comes with millions of dollars in additional financial support for the two universities to pursue top national rankings.

"We appreciate the recognition and support provided to us by the Florida Legislature, Gov. Rick Scott and the Board of Governors, and we're eager to use our new resources to better serve Floridians," said Steve Orlando, senior director of media relations at UF. "It is a responsibility that we take very seriously."

The two universities earned the designation by meeting criteria set by the Legislature this past session establishing 12 academic and research criteria for a pre-eminent university designation. Those criteria include that freshmen have a GPA of 4.0 or better and SAT scores of 1800 or better, and that the universities have an endowment of $500 million or more and research grants totaling $350 million or more.

Any of the 12 state universities that meet 11 of the 12 criteria can apply for pre-eminence status.

FSU met 11 of the 12 criteria, and UF met all 12, which also authorizes it to create a fully online baccalaureate program.

Each school will receive $15 million for the pre-eminence designation. UF President Bernie Machen said he plans to spend the $15 million hiring new faculty to help bring UF closer to the goal of becoming a top 10 university.

UF also will receive an additional $15 million to develop the online bachelor's program.

The pre-eminence designation also allows UF to create a 9- to 12-credit core curriculum unique to the institution that all students would be required to take and could not opt out of by taking advanced-placement, dual-enrollment or other accelerated programs.

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