Preeminence is official validation of what Gators have known all along - that the University of Florida stands out.
It starts with an investment in expertise. Through the remarkable productivity of our faculty, we've achieved excellence with fewer resources than our peers.
We can build on that now with new state money. We'll use it to hire as many as 100 more faculty members. Meanwhile, the UF Foundation intends to fund 107 new endowed professorships and chairs.
We'll channel the brain gain into places where a few more brilliant minds can make us a national leader or fortify our position at the top. It will strengthen our work in health, agriculture,
Latin American studies, computing, archaeology, early childhood education, and much more.
Raising our national standing will attract the most promising students. It will boost the value of a UF degree already recognized as one of the nation's best returns on investment by The
Wall Street Journal's SmartMoney magazine.
Rising helps us recruit the most talented faculty, compete for more federal research grants, and spin off more successful startup companies that add momentum to the state's recovering
economy. It leads us to unfathomable scientific breakthroughs that improve people's lives.
The foundation's fundraising will also support creation of a campus worthy of the newly arrived scholars and students. Part of the $800 million raised in the next three years will contribute
to a new chemistry building to replace outdated labs, an upgrade of our domed home of champions, a new medical education building, an undergraduate business school building, an expanded butterfly
house, and an early childhood education facility to support research on developing human potential.
In officially designating UF a preeminent state public research university, the Legislature and governor have charged us with leading the online revolution in higher education. In 2014, we'll
launch the first fully online four-year bachelor's degree programs at a Florida public university.
The Legislature also granted UF authority to build a common four-course curriculum to ensure every Gator degree signifies not only technical proficiency but skills such as writing, problem
solving and teamwork that are in high demand in every field. We've already launched the first of these courses, "What is the Good Life?" Because every freshman takes it, it's likely the largest
course in UF history.
That's how we're rising. How high will depend on you.