The University of Florida is adding more staff in its effort to climb into the top 10 of public research universities.
Lawmakers set the goal for UF last year — and set aside $15 million for each of the next five years to get it done. The biggest portion of that money was used to hire researchers to study how data is collected and sifted.
This round of hires is funded with an additional $4.7 million of state and university funds. The school will hire faculty in nanomedicine, social network analysis, creative writing, obesity research, African studies and more.
“We run the whole gamut from science to engineering…to the social sciences to the humanities,” University of Florida provost Joe Glover said.
University of Florida president Bernie Machen is updating lawmakers on the school’s progress today. Florida isn’t using a single ranking to determine whether it achieves the top 10 goal. Instead, the school is measuring its progress against other schools in 29 categories.
“Different people will look for different things,” Glover said. “Those people who are interested in economic development in the state, they will ask the questions ‘How many new patents have you generated? How many new licenses have you sold? How many new businesses have you spun off?'”
Economic markers also include new businesses that spring from university research. Other metrics tally grant dollars, percentage of students in the top 10 percent of their high school class and awards won by university faculty.