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Wednesday, Jun 20, 2018
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USF second only to UF in new performance standards

TAMPA — The University of South Florida ranks second in the state university system in a series of key performance benchmarks, an achievement that could earn the school millions of extra dollars from the Legislature.

Only the University of Florida topped USF in the ranking of the 11 active public institutions compiled by the state university system Board of Governors.

“Under this performance model, should it stay the way it is, it would really be great for USF,” said university President Judy Genshaft.

The state university system debuted the performance metrics last year, when at the urging of Gov. Rick Scott the Legislature established a $20 million pot for performance funding based on three benchmarks. USF and the University of Central Florida shared the top spot, each earning $2.6 million in bonus money.

This year, the Board of Governors bumped the tally sheet to 10 performance metrics, and in accountability-obsessed Tallahassee, the Legislature is expected to sweeten the pot considerably.

The Board of Governors calculated that if the Legislature allocates $50 million for performance funding, USF would receive $8.9 million with its second-place ranking. UF would get $11.7 million, and third-ranked Florida International University would earn $7.2 million.

Last year and this year, schools were judged on the percentage of baccalaureate graduates employed or continuing their education within a year of graduating (69 percent at USF); the median average full-time wages of undergraduates employed within a year ($34,600 at USF); and average cost per undergraduate degree ($24,340 at USF).

New metrics this year include the six-year graduation rate (62 percent at USF); the academic progress rate, or second-year retention with a grade point average above 2.0 (87 percent at USF); the percentage of bachelor’s degrees awarded in areas of strategic emphasis, including science, technology, engineering and math or STEM (46 percent at USF); the university access rate, or percent of undergraduates with a Pell grant (41 percent at USF); and graduate degrees awarded in areas of strategic emphasis, including STEM (57 percent for USF).

The Board of Governors assigned one additional performance metric to each university, with USF assigned the percent of bachelor’s degrees awarded without excess hours (56 percent at USF). Each university was allowed to choose a final performance metric; USF added the number of postdoctoral appointees (300 at USF).

Schools earned 1 through 5 points for each benchmark. UF tallied 42 points, USF 37, and FIU 34.

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