Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Higher Education

First Advisor's Name

Benjamin Baez

First Advisor's Committee Title


Second Advisor's Name

Daniel Saunders

Second Advisor's Committee Title


Third Advisor's Name

Norma Goonen

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Eric Dwyer

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Performance Based Funding, Florida, State University System, Florida College System, Students Outcomes, Expenditures

Date of Defense



Florida adopted Performance-Based funding (PBF) as the tool to fund the State University System (SUS), and the Florida College System (FCS). SUS and FCS are the two public higher education systems in Florida. Under PBF, the state governing boards evaluate institutions based on performance outcomes such as graduation rates, retention rates, and job placement, amongst others. Researchers have investigated whether the implementation of PBF would positively affect graduation and retention rates. Shin (2010) found no conclusive evidence that PBF has positively affected them. Others, such as Dougherty and Reddy (2013), Dougherty and Hong (2006), Phillips (2002), and Bell (2005) reported some positive changes in graduation rates, but also cautioned against claiming that the increases in degrees or graduation rates are due to PBF. Empirical research on PBF, therefore, has been inconclusive. There is no research on how PBF affects changes to both public higher education systems in Florida.

The purpose of the study was to explore the role of PBF in the two public higher-education systems in Florida. In order to understand this role, this study analyzes student success outcome variables over time. Specifically, this study attends to changes in graduation and retention rates, student employment data, faculty-student-ratios, and institutional expenditures, variables considered to be determinants of degree productivity, for both the FCS and SUS. The data in this study supports what the literature about PBF has found. Changes in the graduation rates are slow and small, and retention rates seem to be unaffected by the implementation of PBF. The employment metric shows a constant increase for the SUS while for the FCS it decreases for the 2015 cohort. Faculty-student ratio decrease patterns seem to be unaffected by the adoption of PBF while expenses seem to shift to instruction (for the FCS) and institutional support (for the SUS).

Future research should investigate the reasons for the shifts in expenditures. If PBF leads institutions to invest more funds in instruction and institutional support, one should understand what the direct result of such a shift is, and whether such shift contributes to degree productivity.





Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).