The second wave of a funding distribution aimed at boosting the University of Florida’s reputation as a top-ten school nationwide is underway.
UF President Bernie Machen highlighted new proposals during Friday’s UF Board of Trustees meeting at Emerson Alumni Hall. The current proposals will help the university build on existing strengths, such as creative writing, social network analysis and genomic medicine. The board will decide this month which proposals will be awarded anywhere from $5 million to $8 million dollars.
The first round of funding allocations occurred in October.
Gov. Rick Scott and the state legislature awarded the university $15 million for the pre-eminence initiative. Earlier this year, a committee of faculty and administrators selected 16 proposals out of the 22 submitted for funding, including: big data, $3.8 million; neuroscience and the brain, $2.2 million; and food security, safety and distribution, $1.45 million.
In other business from the Trustee’s meeting: During the UF Board of Trustees educational policy and strategy committee meeting on Thursday, students pushed for the board’s support on their tuition equity initiative. They expressed concerns over Deferred Action Childhood Arrival students being ineligible to receive in-state tuition or out-of-state tuition waivers.
Currently, federal law prohibits extending special privileges to non-citizens. Students who are not legal citizens, but who have lived and attended school in Florida for most of their lives must pay out-of-state tuition under current policy.
Machen is supportive of extending in-state tuition to undocumented students, but he had no comment at Friday’s meeting. The board, as a whole, does not support the initiative yet.
“We are watching closely to see what happens in the state legislative, because to extend those benefits would require action by the federal or state government,” said Janine Sikes, UF Media Relations and Public Affairs vice president and spokeswoman.
After the state makes a decision on in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants, the board will then decide how to move forward. The state legislature will meet sometime in Spring 2014.