University of Central Florida

Provost's Update

Thursday, May 17, 2012
 

During the past few years, UCF has “tightened its belt” to become leaner and more efficient. In fact, by many measures UCF is one of the most efficient universities in the state.

Recent data show that the hard work of our staff and faculty members has helped UCF become:

  • 25 percent more efficient than the state university system average for undergraduate instructional expenses
  • 39 percent more efficient than the state university system average in administrative expenses.

Your dedication is best seen in recent data from U.S. News & World Report. UCF is ranked No. 177 in the country for quality, despite being ranked No. 265 in financial support — an excellent example of doing more with less.

However, belt-tightening alone will not help UCF manage the one-time $52.6 million reduction in state support for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Important Next Step

One of the ways UCF will address the one-time budget cut is by requesting a 15 percent increase in differential tuition. Although the state did not approve a general tuition increase, the Legislature approved the UCF budget assuming that a 15 percent differential tuition increase would be approved by the UCF Board of Trustees and State University System’s Board of Governors.

At UCF, differential tuition is essential because UCF’s state operating budget has decreased 49 percent since 2007, including the recent one-time cut.

If approved, differential tuition will result in $20 million for UCF. UCF will use about $14 million to maintain vital courses and programs, and to support our undergraduate student population. The remaining funds will be distributed as need-based financial aid to assist our most at-risk students.

Without differential tuition, UCF will be a very different university next year. Reduced service and class availability will affect 112 faculty positions and 550 classes. A reduction in financial aid will hurt the students who need it most.

Focus on Students

Although we are sensitive to asking more from our students and their families, the reality is that differential tuition has become a vital tool to fight the effects of reduced state funding. It will improve the quality of instruction students receive, and it will increase the amount of financial aid available.

Even with an increase in differential tuition, Florida tuition would remain one of the country’s least expensive. Did you know that 49 percent of our students graduate without debt related to their UCF educations? This compares to 33 percent of students nationally who graduate debt free.

UCF has worked hard to meet the Board of Governors’ first strategic goal: to provide access to a high quality education to as many Central Floridians as we are able to serve. Without differential tuition, our university will be unable to provide as high a quality of instruction as our students deserve.

Thank you for your continued service to our students and university.

Sincerely,

Tony Waldrop