Florida International University (FIU) is a public research university with its main campus in Miami-Dade County. Founded in 1965, the school opened its doors to students in 1972. FIU has grown to become the third-largest university in Florida and the fifth-largest in the United States by enrollment. FIU is a constituent part of the State University System of Florida. In 2021, it was ranked #1 in the Florida Board of Governors performance funding, and had over $246 million in research expenditures.
The university is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity". FIU has 11 colleges and more than 40 centers, facilities, labs, and institutes that offer more than 200 programs of study. It has an annual budget of over $1.7 billion and an annual economic impact of over $5 billion. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
FIU's intercollegiate sports teams, the FIU Panthers, compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I and the Conference USA (C-USA). FIU's varsity sports teams have won five athletic championships and Panther athletes have won various individual NCAA national championships. Kenneth A. Jessell has served as Interim President of FIU since 2022.
In September 1972, 5,667 students entered the new state university, the largest opening day enrollment at the time. Eighty percent of the student body had just graduated from Dade County Junior College (now Miami-Dade College). A typical student entering FIU was 25 years old and attending school full-time while holding down a full-time job. Forty-three percent were married. Negotiations with the University of Miami and Dade County Junior College led FIU to open as an upper-division only school; Perry's vision foresaw a "no gimmicks" institution with no student housing. It would be nine years before lower-division classes were added.
The first commencement, held in June 1973, took place in the reading room of the ground floor of Primera Casa – the only place large enough on campus for the ceremony. More than 1,500 family members and friends watched FIU's first class of 191 graduates receive their diplomas.
By late 1975, after seven years at the helm, Charles Perry felt he had accomplished his goal and left the university to become president and publisher of the Sunday newspaper magazine Family Weekly (later USA Weekend), one of the country's largest magazines. When he left, there were more than 10,000 students attending classes and a campus with five major buildings and a sixth being planned.
FIU offers 191 academic programs, 60 baccalaureate programs, 81 master's programs, 3 specialist programs, 34 doctoral programs, and 4 professional programs in 23 colleges and schools. In addition, 97% of the faculty have terminal degrees, and 50% currently have tenure at the university with a student/teacher ratio of 27:1.
In the early 2000s (decade), emphasis at FIU was placed on growth in degree programs and student enrollment. Since 2005 however, student enrollment has been capped and emphasis became placed on improving the quality of the existing academic programs. With the addition of the College of Medicine, the demand for facilities and classroom space has greatly increased
Official Website: https://www.fiu.edu/