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ERIC Number: EJ1169726
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 35
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0098-9495
Grading the Metrics: Performance-Based Funding in the Florida State University System
Cornelius, Luke M.; Cavanaugh, Terence W.
Journal of Education Finance, v42 n2 p153-187 Fall 2016
A policy analysis of Florida's 10-factor Performance-Based Funding system for state universities. The focus of the article is on the system of performance metrics developed by the state Board of Governors and their impact on institutions and their missions. The paper also discusses problems and issues with the metrics, their ongoing evolution, and political issues related to Performance-Based Funding in Florida. This article provides an example of the growing national movement towards greater accountability and productivity in public higher education, as well as addresses both fiscal and policy issues related in Florida. The Performance Based Funding (PBF) in the Florida SUS focuses on greater accountability in terms of the production of degrees, graduation rates, time to completion, post-graduate income, workforce development and the increased production of degrees in high demand by employers (STEM areas). This article explore the implementation of the PBF plan and its operation, including the metric calculations and finance issues, and explores issues of appropriateness across all state universities. An analysis of the metrics to university elements has also found significant correlations to other university elements such as school size (positive) and the percentage of the population that is Black (negative). In many ways, Florida's State University System (FSUS) represent a compelling case for innovation and reform of public higher education programs. Although the state has the fourth largest population of the American states, the state's public university system, the FSUS, only operates twelve public universities. Furthermore, of these twelve units, only ten can be properly termed full universities at the present time. These FSUS institutions serve a population of over 19 million and a combined enrollment of more than 330,000 students. Contrary to a popular impression of Florida as a state of retirees, over 20% of the state's current population is under 18, while less than 19% are over 65. Even accounting for some very high enrollment institutions, the Universities of Florida, Central Florida, and Florida International enroll around 50,000 students each, this means that the demands on the Florida SUS are considerable. By comparison with other large state systems, and even some smaller ones, the FSUS operates fewer campuses and serves fewer students, thus placing a premium on maximizing the system's capacity. These factors, along with various political developments, have led Florida to become a leading laboratory for the reform of public Higher Education in the United States. This policy analysis will focus on the current initiative to improve the efficiency and productivity of the Florida SUS by examining how the metrics are being applied to universities with different situations and goals. The goal of the project was to do a single state policy analysis of the performance based funding program of the Florida SUS and to search for unintended associations with other institutional elements. The goal is to provide timely analysis of a new policy which appears to have both unintended effects and significant flaws in its formula. The dominant theme of this legislative effort has been towards greater accountability in terms of the production of degrees, graduation rates, and time to completion. Additionally, reform Florida has also focused increasingly on an emphasis of workforce development and the increased production of degrees in high demand by employers, especially in the so-called STEM areas (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.) Specifically, this policy analysis will focus on the establishment of the new FSUS Performance Measures, Performance Based Funding (PBF), and restrictions on aid to in-state students designed to encourage on-time degree completion. It will also discuss the overall Strategic Plan and Goals of the FSUS and related developments affecting the FSUS in the separate Florida College System.
University of Illinois Press. 1325 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6903. Tel: 217-244-0626; Fax: 217-244-8082; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A