Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Thomas E. Miller, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Ann Cranston-Gingras, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jan Ignash, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jarrett Gupton, Ph.D.


public policy, higher education, funding, Kingdon


Performance-based funding in the State University System of Florida is the principle legislative based funding method for the states 12 public universities. The system and the policy is governed by the Florida Board of Governors. However, Florida’s legislative branch has ultimate authority in regards to the policy. There is a gap of knowledge on the critical factors which led to the development, implementation and adoption of this policy. Data were collected using primary and secondary document analysis as well as through interviews with individuals in the following groups: elected officials, higher education leaders, staff, financial or policy influencers and other higher education stakeholders. Four themes emerged from the analysis of the data; the economy, accountability, the “political-ness” of Florida as well as the importance of investing in the state’s public higher education system. Using Kingdon (2011) Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies as the theoretical framework of the study, the themes were then interpreted using Kingdon’s three streams: the problem stream, the policy stream and the political stream which converge to create policy. The themes aligned with and expanded the understanding of the critical factors which led to the adoption and continued use of performance-based funding in the State University System of Florida. Suggestions for future research were also identified.