University of South Florida


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

[Photo by Elizabeth Metcalf, University Communications and Marketing]

New state budget includes operational funding increases, significant support for USF projects

By Adam Freeman, University Communications and Marketing

The Florida Legislature on Tuesday reached agreement on a fiscal year 2024-25 state budget that includes significant increases in recurring operational funding and substantial support for other important projects for the University of South Florida.

On Friday, the Legislature is expected to vote to approve the budget and send it to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his review, approval and line-item veto consideration.

“Throughout the past several months in Tallahassee, we have continued to tell the University of South Florida’s story of becoming one of the youngest universities invited to join the Association of American Universities, ranking among the top 50 public universities in the U.S. for five consecutive years and reaching other milestones faster than many thought possible,” USF President Rhea Law said in a message to the university community. “We are incredibly grateful to the Legislature, including Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner, for their support and recognition of our university’s trajectory.”

Among the newly proposed investments in USF, pending the governor’s approval:

  • A $50 million recurring increase to USF’s operational budget to support the work of each of our three campuses and USF Health, as well as to expand cybersecurity research and the cyber workforce. A portion of this increase was funded through a new $100 million recurring investment in the state’s Preeminent State Research Universities Program, which will be split equally between the four institutions that are expected to meet the necessary preeminence benchmarks this year. This investment is critical in helping continue USF’s path toward becoming a top 25 public university and in carrying out its research mission.
  • A $35 million nonrecurring operational support increase to fund strategic projects, including completing the major clinical trial underway at USF Health to measure the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on alleviating the symptoms of PTSD/TBI in military veterans, an initiative that was funded by the state last year.
  • $31 million for critical infrastructure and safety improvements to ensure appropriate capacity for the present and future growth of the USF Tampa campus.
  • $10 million to upgrade facilities and services offered to student veterans, military families and first responders on all three campuses.
  • $7.2 million to invest in campus life facility projects funded through the state’s Capital Improvement Trust Fund.
  • $3.9 million for a joint project between the College of Nursing and the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences designed to both lower opioids use statewide and to assist counties to better plan for and respond to opioid overdoses.
  • $750,000 for the USF Trafficking in Persons Risk to Resilience Research Lab that will go toward the development and operation of a statewide human trafficking data repository. The database will assist law enforcement human trafficking investigations, address gaps in victim services to provide essential resources, develop prevention programs and provide a better understanding of the magnitude and trends in human trafficking across Florida and over time.

The Legislature also agreed to invest $100 million nonrecurring funds for the State University System’s Performance-based Excellence Recognition Program, which was created to recruit and retain top faculty and research talent in the state. The exact amount of USF’s funding from this state investment will be determined in the coming months by the Board of Governors based on 2024 performance-based funding scores and the number of full-time faculty and researchers employed in programs of strategic emphasis.

“This is another remarkable budget for USF that will allow us to advance our strategic goals in student success, research and innovation excellence, impactful community partnerships and engagement and the countless other ways we provide immeasurable benefits to the Tampa Bay region, state of Florida and beyond,” said Law, who also thanked the Tampa Bay Area Legislative Delegation, the Board of Governors, including Chair Brian Lamb and Chancellor Ray Rodrigues, the USF Board of Trustees, under the leadership of Chair Will Weatherford and Vice Chair Mike Griffin, and USF’s students, faculty, staff, alumni, fans and other supporters.

Return to article listing