Legislative Priorities

UF plan for increasing our national ranking – $75 million

For this request we are asking lawmakers to provide $75 million to accelerate and expand our rise to the top of the national rankings. This plan is broken down into four categories:

Faculty Investment in Targeted Disciplines – $20 million

Recruit 100 new faculty members to focus on five research areas including data analysis, human health security, infrastructure, and advance materials

Faculty Retention Support – $30 million

Bridge the faculty salary gap between UF and our Peers

Reducing Student/Faculty Ratio – $15 million

Reduce the ratio from 21:1 to 19:1 by hiring 225 faculty members

Increased Graduate Student Support – $10 million

Increase stipends to attract and retain the brightest graduate students to support important research

Utilities/Infrastructure/Maintenance – $30 million

The University of Florida - the oldest public university in the State with a 36 year average building age - has many buildings that require repairs and renovations. Due to declining PECO revenues and fluctuating appropriations, UF has not been able to keep pace with deteriorating facilities. Funds will help UF address its most serious building maintenance problems.

UF Engineering NEXUS: Renovation and Addition to Nuclear Science Building – $8.7 Million

Engineering Innovation Nexus is an 88,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art research and educational environment located in the heart of campus. UF will update the 50-year old Nuclear Science facility. Re-purposing existing space will provide for cutting-edge education and research opportunities and allow us to increase the number of students earning engineering degrees.

UF College of Education: Norman Hall Renovations – $10.4 Million

Listed on the National Historic Registry, the College of Education’s Norman Hall has not been updated in years and has critical maintenance needs. This project would renovate the building, transforming it into modern, efficient teaching space. It would also add space for research and training. 

UF Data Science and Information Tech Building – $25 Million

The Data Science and Information Technology Building will house faculty and researchers from the College of Medicine and the College of Engineering who specialize in analyzing massive amounts of data to tackle complicated problems. The facility will also consolidate faculty from the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer and Information Science, and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. Both colleges will be able to recruit and retain outstanding faculty by offering them technically-advanced facilities and the chance to collaborate with other top researchers in these fields.

UF Music Building: Remodeling and Addition – $12.5 Million

UF will renovate 55,000 gross square feet in UF’s Music Building, originally constructed in 1970. The expansion of the Music Building by an additional 49,000 GSF will provide modern and efficient teaching labs and studio spaces. Improvements will include: a new recital hall, practice rooms and climate-controlled spaces to store and utilize very valuable musical instruments and equipment.

UF College of Pharmacy — Medical Marijuana: Efficacy and Safety Evaluation – $2.4 Million

The Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014 requires physicians to submit quarterly treatment plans to the University of Florida’s College of Pharmacy for research on the safety and effectiveness of low-THC cannabis.  The College of Pharmacy has developed a website to accept physicians’ treatment plans but they cannot conduct research because the legislature has not provided any funding for that effort.

Enhance Zika Research & Education Capacity – $4 Million

The University of Florida has strong existing Zika expertise centered at the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute (EPI) and the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory (FMEL). UF is home to one of three National Institutes of Health-funded Models of Infectious Disease Agents Study (MIDAS), which are currently tasked with the development of risk models for Zika. Through the UF Preeminence program, some of the top scientists in the country with expertise in work with this and similar viruses have been hired.

The FMEL has expertise and a proven track record of research on all aspects of the biology of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus and of the viruses that they transmit, including dengue chikungunya and now Zika. This LBR requests additional resources/funding that will allow UF investigators and staff to focus on Zika, moving quickly to develop both research and education programs for the optimal control of Zika-related illness in Florida. 

Florida Applied Research in Engineering (FLARE) – $2.5 Million 

The goal of this legislative budget request is to help Florida become a national leader in the high tech industry using the same model as was successful in agriculture – leveraging applied R&D and extension services to benefit Florida industry.  FLARE will secure significant federal research investment and will also focus on contract work for Florida’s industry.

Institute for Comparative Veterinary Diagnostic – $3 Million

A large portion of animal diagnostic testing is presently being sent out-of-state by veterinary medical practitioners in Florida, most of which goes to our peer institutions. This LBR seeks to create the first-of-its-kind Institute for Comparative Veterinary Diagnostics at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine. The increased engagement that will naturally accompany the Institute will have positive impacts on animal health, public health, and the economy in Florida.

St. Augustine Historic Building Roofs – $250,000

In 2010, the University of Florida became the managing agency for several historic properties comprised of thirty-nine buildings in St. Augustine. Over the past six years, the University of Florida has expended approximately $20 million in state, direct-support organization, grant, and leveraged private funding for building preservation and delivery of public education programs including support for local economic development and tourism. However, the cost of these replacements is in excess of what the university can afford from its recurring funds to operate and maintain these thirty-nine buildings. This LBR proposes replacement of eight cedar shake roofs on state-owned historic buildings in the historic downtown. This project request enables the university to continue to meet its legislative commitment and utilize state recurring funds for other ongoing needs in St. Augustine.