Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Education System

State University System

For assistance, call 850-245-0466 or visit

What is the purpose of the State University System?

The purpose of the State University System (SUS) is to provide high quality academic degree programs to meet state economic and workforce needs, cutting-edge research to address global problems, and community outreach to improve the quality of life for Floridians.

How many universities are included in the State University System?

Florida's public university system includes 12 universities with an enrollment of more than 400,000 students.

What is the governance structure for the State University System?

As required by article IX, section 7(d) of the Florida Constitution, the State University System is governed by the Board of Governors (BOG). Each State University System institution has a 13-member Board of Trustees dedicated to the purposes of the state university system. Each state university's Board of Trustees has the fiduciary responsibility for overseeing university operations, establishing cost-effective policies or regulations consistent with Board of Governors' regulations or guidelines, and implementing and maintaining high-quality education programs in accordance with the university's mission.

What types of degrees are offered by the 12 state universities?

The State University System offers Bachelor's, Master's, Advanced Master, Engineering, Specialist, Professional Doctorate, and Research Doctorate degrees. The Board of Governors maintains a complete list of all degrees available at state universities on its website.

How is the performance of the state universities assessed?

Each state university produces an Accountability Plan to document its direction and priorities as well as its performance expectations and outcomes on institutional and system-wide goals. These accountability tools are used to annually assess the performance of post-secondary education within the State University System.

What is the Performance-Based Model?

Performance funds are awarded to state universities based on a funding model developed and approved by the Board of Governors as referenced in s. 1001.92, Florida Statutes. The Board of Governors evaluates universities on the excellence or improvement for each metric based on prior year data and calculates a total score for each university. Information on performance-based models can be found on the Board of Governors page.

What are Preeminent State Research Universities?

The Board of Governors designates each state university that annually meets at least 12 of the 13 academic and research excellence standards identified in s. 1001.7065, Florida Statutes, as a Preeminent State Research University. Once approved, the Board of Governors awards the university an amount specified in the General Appropriations Act.

What are Emerging Preeminent Research Universities?

An Emerging Preeminent Research University is a state universities meeting at least 7 but fewer than 12 of the 13 academic and research excellence standards identified in law as recognized by the Board of Governors. 

What are State Universities of Distinction?

The State Universities of Distinction program is intended to recognize and invest in universities recognized by the Board of Governors that can attain national excellence in a core competency. The program is also intended to meet state workforce needs now and into the future and foster an innovation economy that focuses on areas such as health, security, and STEM. The program applies to all non-preeminent SUS institutions. An institution participates by submitting a proposal to the Board of Governors identifying the program that is a core competence capable of reaching national or state excellence.

How are these activities funded?

The three sources of funding for state universities are the General Revenue Fund, the Education Enhancement Trust Fund (Lottery), and the Phosphate Research Trust Fund (Florida Polytechnic University. The portion of the state universities' budget appropriated by the Florida Legislature is called Education & General (E&G).  Information on components of a specific state university's budget can be found by viewing the fact book for each institution on the State University System's website.


Postsecondary Educational Institutions. The 2023 Legislature enacted Ch. 2023-83, Laws of Florida, which

  • prohibits a public institution of higher education from requiring a person complete a political loyalty test as a condition of employment or admission;
  • prohibits preferential consideration to a person for employment or admission to an institution for support of political or ideological beliefs;
  • creates the Offices of Public Policy Events within the State University System to promote open discussion and debate of contested public policy issues; and
  • creates the Florida Student Association as a nonprofit advocacy organization serving the needs of the students of the State University System.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

Review of the Florida Lottery, 2023, Report 24-02, January 2024
Career Statewide Articulation Agreements, Report 23-10, November 2023
Review of the Florida Lottery, 2022, Report 23-02, January 2023
Homeless and Foster Youth Services, Report 22-08, December 2022
Review of the Capital Outlay Facilities Space of Florida's State University System, Report 20-SUSFACI, February 2020
Review of the Capital Outlay Facilities Space of Florida's College System, Report 20-FCSFACI, June 2020

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
The Auditor General reports on university operations are available on its website
State University System Board of Governors - Operational Audit, Auditor General Report 
2020-032, September 2019.
Board of Governors - Office of Inspector General's Internal Audit Activity - For the Review Period July 2017 Through June 2018, Auditor General Report 2019-052, November 2018
Expenditure Analysis Reports, State University System
Operating Budget Reports, State University System
Baccalaureate Follow-Up Study: Employment and Education Outcomes One, Five, and Ten Years After Graduation, State University System of Florida, January 2018

Websites of Interest
State University System, University Accountability Plans

State University System, Interactive University Data
State University System, University Facts Books
State University System, Strategic Plan

Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for universities may be found in the Board of Governor's strategic plan and accountability reports

What are the applicable statutes?

Article IX, section 7(d) of the Florida Constitution and Chs. 1001 Part IV and 1004 Part II and ss. 1009.24 and 1001.7065, Florida Statutes

Whom do I contact for help?

Florida Board of Governors, State University System, 850-245-0466