Potential loss in funding creates a dark cloud over university success

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http://acrossaday.com/?search=mail-order-cialis University of West Florida President Judy Bense highlighted the success of the previous school year in the annual State of the University address on Thursday in the UWF Field House, but also expressed concern for a potentially significant loss in funding.

The university has accomplished a number of things over the past year, including being recognized as a “Purple Heart University” for its service to veterans, exemplary student recognitions and five sports championships. However, there is a dark cloud that looms over recent success.

During the 2012-2013 school year, lawmakers created a metrics program that provides funding to colleges and universities based on their performance in 10 specific benchmarks. These benchmarks include retention rates, enrollment hours and graduation rates that are scored six years after each incoming class.

During the first year, UWF scored a 21 on the 50 point scale, which resulted in the loss of $3.8 million in funding. Last year, the score shot up to 37, which restored $3.8 million in base funding.

“This is the best news of any university in the state, but the problem is that we went up so high that we have to get higher every year in order to get points,” said Bense. “I have to tell you the truth, no surprises – we are concerned. The 2009 freshmen class (the group that will determine this year’s score) was not very strong.”

Although this year’s score could potentially cost the school millions in base funding, the university did receive a total of $24.2 million in new funding for programs, not to mention generous gifts to the university by family and business organizations.

“The situation with the points for state funding is a little scary,” said Danielle Malone, president of the W.E.B. Dubois Honor Society. “But the school has been in situations where we lost money and gained other funding, so I think we will have no problem bouncing back.”

The university recently received more funding to complete the Florida Military program and partnered with Gulf Islands National Seashore to build the National Park Service Resource Learning Center.

The nursing program opened a new state-of-the-art nursing lab, and a group of engineering students won second place in an international design competition. Biochemistry major Jini Curry was named National Honor Student of the Year by the National Collegiate Honors Council.

Last year, the swim team, as well as the men’s and women’s golf and tennis teams, brought home new trophies, making the grand total 84 conference championships in school history. The football team will also begin scrimmages this semester, and a new competition field is currently under construction.

“For 21 years in a row, our student athletes have a higher GPA than the general student body,” said Bense. “They are winners in and out of the classrooms.”

University staff and employees received a 3.8 percent raise in salary. The university also experienced a 2 percent increase in student enrollment, 12.6 percent increase in graduate enrollment, and the freshmen class entered with a record breaking 3.61 GPA, up from a 3.58 last This address marked one of the last for Bense as she will retire as president in December 2016. The Board of Trustees will be having a meeting on Sep. 30, during which, there will be an update on the search for Bense’s successor.

For more information, the entire address can be watched on WUWF’s Youtube channel and the presentation can be found here.