The University of Florida is one of the nation’s very best public universities. Our home of Gainesville is a beautiful, thriving university city. Yet what truly sets us apart is our shared promise for the future.
We have the opportunity over the next decade to become a center for innovation, a leader in education at all levels and an example in environmental sustainability. We can be known for nurturing local startups and established businesses, for attracting top talent and industry from afar and for being a beacon of arts and culture.
To get there, we at UF will continue on our path to the nation’s top-5 public research universities, including through growing our faculty, increasing research productivity and striving to make our undergraduate education even more meaningful. We will redouble our focus on addressing the challenges of our community, state and world, from pre-K through PhD-level education, and from a healthy environment to an economy that provides opportunities for all.
Our research spending soared to $929 million for the 2019 fiscal year – a new record, and another step toward our goal of $1 billion. We remain laser-focused on accelerating commercialization of our technologies and ideas through UF Innovate. UF technologies are at the heart of over 200 startups creating 7,600 jobs. Last year’s billion-dollar acquisition of a company that began as a UF startup was a both a milestone and a harbinger of things to come.
Our rise as a nationally preeminent university city depends not only on research, technology and jobs – but also on creating an even more attractive, livable, equitable, culturally rich and diverse community. UF academic leaders, faculty, staff and students are dedicated to that progress, from contributing to transportation solutions such as the newly operating downtown autonomous shuttle, to the flowering of the Cultural Plaza, to early childhood and other research that benefits local schools and local students.
With so much achieved in recent years, our university city has strong forward momentum. I can’t wait to join in creating what’s next.
Dr. Kent Fuchs has been President of the University of Florida since 2015. He has set the university on a path to the top five and becoming the number one university for comprehensive excellence. Previously, Dr. Fuchs served in academic leadership positions and as a faculty member of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell, Purdue and the University of Illinois.