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USF System Earns Second Largest Amount of Performance Funding for 2015-16

Second place standing among state universities expected to translate into millions of dollars in additional funds.

TAMPA, Fla. (March 18, 2015) – The University of South Florida System remains one of the top performers academically among the state’s public universities, according to newly released data. The USF Systemfinished second overall in theBoard of Governors performance-based funding model for 2015-16, as revealed by the Board on Wednesday. The results will become final after a vote by the Board on Thursday.

This marks the third year in a row that USF’s performance has ranked among the best in the state. This year’s finish is expected to provide millions of dollars in additional support for the USF System as Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature are working on plans to invest hundreds of millions more in performance funding during 2015-2016, following a $200 million investment last year. The exact allocation amounts will be part of the final state budget released at the end of this year’s Legislative session in May and signed by Gov. Scott.

“Performance-based accountability is part of the USF System’s DNA,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft. “We are grateful that our efforts to improve student success and post-graduation opportunities for students are again being validated by the Board of Governors.”

“Performance funding signifies a new era for our State University System, one that places a renewed emphasis on university accountability,” said Board of Governors Chair Mori Hosseini. “USF has made strategic investments in its students, and that focus is paying off.”

The model used to evaluate state universities includes 10 metrics covering a range of issues.

USF’s highlights this year include:

· Initiatives to ensure students are prepared for successful careers are working, with 75 percent of recent alumni employed or continuing their education a year after graduating. That represents a year-over-year gain of 5 percent.

· USF’s six-year graduation rate continues to climb, up from 63 to 66 percent.

· USF achieved a 6 percent increase in the number of students graduating without excess hours.

· More students are graduating with bachelor’s degrees in high-wage, high-demand areas, up from 50 to 51 percent. Similarly, the percentage of graduate degrees in high-wage, high-demand areas is holding steady at 69 percent, making USF the System’s second-highest performer on that metric.

The high marks for the USF System follow a second place ranking in 2014-15, which led to a $22.2 million investment. USF primarily used last year’s performance funding to enhance programs designed to prepare students for careers upon graduation, a key component of how the performance state universities are judged. Among those investments were a new career success center at USF Sarasota-Manatee, a revamped career resource center and several new positions designed to prepare students for today’s workforce at USF in Tampa and new faculty hires at USF St. Petersburg.

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