The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

New university performance model penalizes low performers

16

January

The governing body for state universities approved a new performance model today that penalizes low performing schools by cutting a small portion of their state funding.

Any university that doesn't receive at least 26 points under the new 50-point system will lose 1 percent of its state funding in 2014-2015. Those schools also would be ineligible to receive any additional money allocated for performance funding.

This is a departure from the model implemented earlier this year, which allowed all active state universities to share $20 million. That ranged from $2.6 million for the top performers, University of South Florida and University of Central Florida, to a low of $434,783 for New College of Florida. (Florida Polytechnic University doesn't have students yet, so it is ineligible for performance funding.)

New College President Donal O'Shea said he ran the numbers on the new model and his school isn't projected to reach 26 points unless one more Pell grant recipient enrolls. Based on its state funding for the current year, New College could be penalized $158,511 if it does not get the extra point.

Even that amount would be a hardship for Florida's smallest university, which focuses on the liberal arts, O'Shea said.

"This is the first year that New College has not used reserves to pay for recurring expenses," he said. "We are down on fumes."

Read more here.

[Last modified: Thursday, January 16, 2014 11:56am]

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