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Florida Board Of Governors Approves $20 Million For New UF Artificial Intelligence Initiative

Wrap - AI Initiative (Zach Cohen)

Just days after being ranked sixth among public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the University of Florida took a further step towards reaching its goal of being ranked a top-five public university. The Florida Board of Governors approved a $20 million legislative budget request that will go towards the new Artificial Intelligence Initiative.

The university submitted its plan for a new initiative at the Florida Board of Governors meeting Wednesday morning. Chairman Timothy M. Cerio said the Board can help the university follow guidelines.

“The legislature will ask the universities and will ask us, as the Board of Governors, 'How are you spending the money we gave you? How does it align?' Because there are very specific metrics out there that are observable and measurable,” he said.

The university also hopes the artificial intelligence initiative will have a positive impact on Florida's economy. Its goals include plans for job creation, attracting investors and supporting under-served communities.

Emily Sikes, assistant vice chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Economic Development, presented the plan. Sikes described how the funds will be used.

“The University of Florida is requesting $20 million to support 100 faculty and 20 staff," Sikes said. "Their focus is to increase research and to develop a new artificial technology center.”

The university and the Board of Governors now await approval from the Florida Legislature.

Zach is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing