Brittany Davis Wise
HIGHLIGHTS: Board of Governors' Meeting, January 26
Board Chair Tom Kuntz’s State of the System Address, a workshop on how to strengthen Florida’s 2+2 Articulation Program, and a presentation on the impact of student counseling services are among the highlights of the January Board of Governors’ meeting at Florida Polytechnic University.
LAKELAND -- Joined by new Board member Sydney Kitson, the Board of Governors this week advanced a number of strategic initiatives designed to enhance accountability, make higher education more affordable, and ensure students have every opportunity to be successful.
Chair Tom Kuntz outlined the Board’s progress on those initiatives during his annual State of the System Address. In the past year, Florida has made strides toward aligning degrees with jobs, raising the State University System’s research profile and enhancing Florida’s 2+2 Program. Chair Kuntz also discussed the need for more mental health counselors on campuses due to the soaring demand.
“Florida universities consistently win awards for their quality and affordability, but there are also opportunities to spark meaningful improvements,” said Board of Governors’ Chair Tom Kuntz. “By focusing on enhancing the profile of our universities and helping our students succeed, we’re raising the value of a college degree from Florida despite remaining the lowest in the country on price.”
The Board also heard a presentation on the impact of campus mental health services, including increased academic success, improved mental and behavioral health, and reduced risk to self and others. Counseling centers also appear to have a positive impact on student retention and graduation.
“The need for mental health services around the country has simply outpaced the ability of our campuses to keep up,” said Norm Tripp, chair of the Board’s Academic and Student Affairs Committee. “Many of our students are coming to our counseling centers with very serious issues, and we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to help them address those problems, graduate, and live productive lives.”
Other meeting highlights include:
- The Board’s Select Committee on 2+2 Articulation discussed how to further strengthen Florida’s 2+2 Program for students who are transferring from state colleges to universities. Among other topics, the committee considered how to streamline the admissions processes between colleges and universities and ensure that credits transfer smoothly.
- The Board approved a list of facilities to be included in its 2017 Legislative Budget Request, primarily focusing on maintenance and repair.
- Vice Chancellor Jan Ignash presented on the work of the Strategic Planning Committee, which plays an enormous role in steering the State University System toward the state’s highest needs. The Committee’s work, which includes the 2025 Strategic Plan, the Annual Accountability Report, and University Work Plans, has been nationally recognized for its rigor.
- As part of its Think Florida: A Higher Degree for Business campaign, the Board of Governors heard from John Townsend, vice president of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. & T. Rowe Price Services, Inc. about his company’s many partnerships with USF.
For more information, consult the meeting’s official minutes at http://www.flbog.edu/. The Board’s next meeting is scheduled for March 29-30 at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.
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Facts about the State University System of Florida and the Board of Governors
The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors. The system has 12 universities and more than 341,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation. Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and managing the system’s coordination and operation. The Board appoints a chancellor who serves as the system’s chief executive. For more, visit www.flbog.edu, visit Think-Florida.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.