Executive Secretary, Government Relations
Student Success Funding:
Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) will request General Revenue funds to continue to enhance student success and, in so doing, meet regional and statewide workforce demands. Additional resources are necessary to provide essential faculty, professional staff, student advisors and expanded programming to increase retention and graduation rates, and continue to prepare students for employment immediately upon graduation. FGCU’s portfolio of academic/professional degree programs is intentionally focused on meeting regional and statewide economic development needs and market demands. FGCU will accomplish these goals by: (1) hiring faculty in targeted STEM-related disciplines, and academic and career advisors; (2) providing students with more “real world” experiences through expanded internship and co-op opportunities; and (3) collaborating with other institutions/organizations to develop certificate programs emphasizing marketable skills that give students a competitive edge in the workforce.
In order to achieve FGCU’s goals to enhance student learning outcomes, provide a first-class learning environment and be a leader in the field of sustainable/renewable energy, PECO funding is required. These funds are necessary for critical infrastructure (including service roads), the completion of the Innovation Hub (IHub) building, the expansion of the chiller plant, and construction of Academic Building 9. Service roads are critical for emergency vehicle and other access to buildings within the academic core.
FGCU requests the second installment of PECO funding for the IHub building, which will house the FGCU Emergent Technologies Institute and support the adjacent Renewable Energy Park. The IHub was developed through a public-private partnership with Mr. John D. Backe that included a gift of land for the construction of the building and a $1 million endowment to establish the Backe Chair in Renewable Energy at Florida Gulf Coast University. The Renewable Energy Park will be a fully integrated scale-size demonstration site highlighting best practices and the most up-to-date technology associated with energy production, storage and usage. This facility will blend educational opportunities with research programs as a means to partner with various renewable energy industries, utility companies, and local and state governments to develop technologies and provide a trained workforce for the next generation of clean energy production in Florida and the U.S. This unique research asset will be available for cooperative use by all institutions within the State University System (SUS). Combining research and education with public outreach, and a state-of-the art energy park, will make the FGCU Emergent Technologies Institute a magnet and hub for developments in renewable energy throughout the region as well as attracting companies, venture capital, research laboratories and industries from the U.S. and other parts of the world, especially the Caribbean, and Central and South America.
FGCU’s chiller plant is rapidly nearing capacity for campus operations. The expansion of the chiller plant will allow FGCU to most efficiently provide the necessary cooling capacity to meet current building needs, and is required to support future new facilities on campus.
Please click here to view the comprehensive report on the FGCU Emergent Technologies Institute.
FGCU’s PECO request for 2014-2015
includes the following:
Roads/Infrastructure ............ $7,000,000
Innovation Hub Research Building
Phase 2 ................................ $7,633,807
Central Energy Plant Expansion
Phase 3 ................................ $9,000,000
FGCU will request through the Capital Improvement Trust Fund (CITF) $9,72,012. The funding foor this student-supported initiative will be used to construct a Recreation/Fitness Center.
During the 2011 Legislative Session, the passage of Senate Bill 2150 suspended state matches for the Alec P. Courtelis Facilities Enhancement Challenge Grant Program, and the Major Gifts Trust Fund. The statute allows the program to resume after the $200 million backlog for projects for the State University System is funded. FGCU encourages resumption of state funding for these valuable matching programs that leverage private sector investment in support of critical state needs.
FGCU continues to be a leader in higher education cost containment by controlling tuition and fees paid by students and their parents. By focusing on a total cost containment model, FGCU creates an environment which will continue to afford students accessibility to a quality higher education and encourage a diverse student population with less student debt.
• FGCU was one of only two Florida state universities that did not raise tuition last year.
• For two consecutive years FGCU has contained housing and parking fees by keeping these fees flat.
• FGCU intends to continue these cost containment measures.
FGCU will continue to be competitive for performance funding provided by the Legislature and Board of Governors. As previously reported, last year FGCU received $2.1 million of performance funding, ranking behind only two other universities (UCF and USF) in the State University System. Performance was based on average salaries of graduates, percentage of graduates who are employed or continuing education, and cost per degree.
STUDENT SUCCESS FUNDING
Last year, FGCU received $6.5 million in recurring funding for student success initiatives. Please support FGCU's request for $ 5.7 million to further advance our mission of student success. These funds will provide:
• additional Career and Academic Advisors to meet the demand of student career and academic counseling needs so important to timely degree completion;
• create programs to provide real world experiences through internships and business cooperative opportunities;
• develop partnerships with other educational institutions to target degrees and certificates creating programs to emphasize marketable job skills.
Please fund FGCU's $5.7 million student success request.
PUBLIC EDUCATION CAPITAL OUTLAY (PECO)
In 1963 the ability to use funding from taxes for higher education was added to the Florida Constitution, thus allowing the State of Florida to create and implement the Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) Trust Fund. To date, Florida Statute requires that taxes on utilities and communication are the sources from which these
2 funds are derived. This program has provided the state's K-20 education systems with the necessary funding to construct facilities approved by the Florida Legislature and Governor. In recent years, these taxes have steadily declined and made it increasingly difficult to fund necessary capital projects. In order to achieve FGCU's goals to enhance student learning outcomes, provide a first-class learning environment, and be a leader in the field of emerging technologies and sustainable energy, capital construction funding is required.
Please support FGCU's Public Education Capital Outlay projects totaling $23,633,807. They include:
• Emergent Technologies Institute (Phase 2) $7,633,807
• Central Energy Plant (Phase 3) $9,000,000
• Roads/Infrastructure $7,000,000
Please fund FGCU's capital projects (PECO) totaling $23,633,807.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT TRUST FUND (CITF)
FGCU will request through the Capital Improvement Trust Fund (CITF) $9,272,012 to construct a Wellness/Recreation/Fitness Center. The current facility was built to accommodate a student population of approximately 4000 students. Today, FGCU serves a diverse student population of over 14,500. Twenty-five years ago, the Building Fee and the Capital Improvement Trust Fund Fee were established by the Florida Legislature. Historically, the proceeds from the student fees collected have been bonded by the State to make available the amount of funding necessary to complete projects. Recently, it has been difficult to receive approval for bonded projects. FGCU's cash amount from the student fee collection is $1,328,527, and the bonded amount would be $7,943,495. The total amount necessary to complete the project is $9,272,012. Over the past several years, the student population in Florida’s state universities has dramatically increased, creating the demand for new and/or improved “student life facilities.”
The funding for this FGCU-student-supported initiative will be used to construct a Wellness/Recreation/Fitness Center on the FGCU campus.
• Wellness/Recreation/Fitness Center $9,272,012
Please fund FGCU's student-supported Wellness/Recreation/Fitness Center totaling $9,272,012.