Monday, Oct. 23, 2023
Dear Florida Tech community,
Last week, the Board of Trustees completed our regular October meetings, and I’m pleased to provide you with an update. We gathered with many important developments on the horizon that are energizing campus and building excitement in the community.
We are crafting a strategic plan that will serve as a creative and powerful roadmap for Vision 2040, Florida Tech’s ambitious, overarching statement that describes the future position of our university and guides our actions in key areas.
Since July, we have captured feedback from more than 1,200 voices as part of this process, including hundreds of students, faculty and staff as well as leaders in our business community. We look forward to sharing more details with you.
Our board is also busy with important actions that touch on more current needs while also looking to future strengths. Here are some highlights.
The board was pleased to see that the incoming Fall 2023 class of first-year and transfer students is the largest in Florida Tech’s history. These eager learners were motivated by Florida Tech’s outstanding academics, stellar reputation, top-notch facilities and unparalleled career opportunities for graduates, according to our enrollment team.
As our enrollment grows, the board remains committed to working with administration to continue to improve overall student retention numbers through a focus on student success initiatives.
More students also mean we will need more housing. President Nicklow and his administration are engaging with industry partners to evaluate our options and ultimately develop a plan to add new campus housing, actions the board fully endorses.
The board approved several capital projects for Fiscal 2024:
- Over $2.7 million for direct improvements to academic spaces as well as new equipment and software for research, labs and maker’s spaces, and start-up funding for new faculty.
- Major improvements in IT infrastructure, including a multi-year, campus-wide network technology modernization that will bolster campus Wi-Fi.
- Continuation of the renovation of University Plaza and the completion of preparation work for the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Tuition allows us to make these important improvements. The board approved an average 2.9% increase in tuition.
As we talk dollars and cents, I will add that the board reviewed the report from the university’s outside auditor, Berman Hopkins, and it was very positive, noting that we have made major improvements in organizational structure, policies and procedures, internal risk management and financial reporting.
Risk Reduction, Board Changes
- The board accepted a new Enterprise Risk Management Charter and framework for the campus that will identify and minimize risk while ensuring that the board maintains appropriate visibility to potential risks.
- The board approved a series of changes to its committee structure to help ensure the board is best positioned to support Florida Tech’s forward vision and strategic initiatives. In addition, the Governance Committee was charged with reviewing committee charters and developing a process for implementation of term limits for both committee chairs and trustees.
The Board Also…
…enjoyed an informative presentation by Florida Tech’s FITSEC competitive cybersecurity team and recognized the outstanding achievements of its student members and their faculty mentors, including the director of Florida Tech’s cybersecurity program, TJ O’Connor.
… experienced a “Prospective Student and Family Tour” hosted by Admissions’ Student Ambassadors, where they toured various parts of campus.
… met the 10 students appearing in the Florida Tech episode of Amazon Prime’s The College Tour as we all dined on the university’s delicious catering at the trustee dinner.
This is an exciting time to be at Florida Tech. Our campus is bustling with new students, new facilities, new partnerships and, not incidentally, a new president with contagious enthusiasm. Our future? As we’ve detailed here, there is much to eagerly anticipate. Thank you for your continued support and collaboration.
Travis Proctor, Chair
Board of Trustees