Florida International University to honor Sen. Ileana Garcia for funding achievements

by | Aug 11, 2022

  • Sen. Ileana Garcia will be honored by Florida International University (FIU) on Thursday for her efforts in securing major funding for the school 
  • In the most recent legislative cycle, Garcia was able to allocate an additional $5 million for FIU, as well as $63 million that will be partially used to construct a new engineering facility 
  • In totality, FIU will receive $77 million from state resources to be used for a variety of infrastructure and research projects 
  • FIU in recent years has increased its collaborative output with Miami businesses, which has been shown to help stimulate the South Florida economy 

Florida International University (FIU) will honor Sen. Ileana Garcia (R-Miami) on Thursday for her work in securing funding for the school. This past legislative cycle, Garcia was able to grant an additional $5 million to FIU.

In addition to the $5 million, Garcia assisted in the university’s acquisition of $63 million that will partially be utilized for the undertaking of phase two construction on FIU’s new Engineering Center. The 25,000-square-foot facility plans to be a headquarters for elite-level research ranging from the likes of architecture to medical technology and cyber surveillance leading the nation in breakthrough engineering research.

Using data collected by the Department of Defense from the President’s Jobs & Competitiveness Council, the FIU 2020 Strategic Plan, requires an additional 10,000 engineers in projection for the next decade. Senator Garcia’s work will facilitate the financial resources for the final phase two of the Engineering Center to get this development underway by installing brand new classrooms and collaborative spaces with both instructional and research-based laboratories focused on STEM curriculum.

“Florida International University is a great source of pride not just to South Florida, but to our state,” said Garcia. “It’s been very rewarding to fight for these additional funds for FIU knowing that they will go toward growing the stellar campus and creating greater opportunities for our community.”

On the back of recent research and student success, FIU is set to receive more than $77 million as part of the Florida state budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The funding total marks an increase compared to years prior and indicates a legislative belief that the school will continue to provide benefits to the state economy.

According to appropriation plans published by the university, the funding will in part be allocated towards such projects as $33.5 million for FIU’s Public Education Capital Outlay funds for the second building of the new engineering complex, $2 million to help acquire necessary certifications for its Laboratory for Functional Drug Testing to Individualized Cancer Treatments center, and $32 million in operational funding for implementing the FIU Board of Trustees’ plan for the university to become a top 50 public research university.

“This investment in FIU will continue to support our NextHorizon Strategic Plan,” says Michelle L. Palacio, senior vice president of the Division of Strategic Communications, Government and External Affairs. “Through the support of these funds, we will continue to excel in student success and research excellence. We are truly grateful to our legislators and all those who are advocates for FIU.”

FIU’s various collaborations with industry-leading groups have led to the school becoming a reliable source of research and innovation in the South Florida community.

FIU’s work with nearby health facilities, like Cleveland Clinic Florida, assists in the advancing of cancer treatment and resulted in former state Senator Anitere Flores and current state Representative Bryan Avila, chair of House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee, advocating for the school to receive a further $2 million in state appropriations.

The additional funding would allow for Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certification — an important certification that would propel FIU to the forefront of this field at a national level, expanding the lab’s capacity to work with hospitals and patients across the country.

The lab would additionally become the first CLIA-certified lab dedicated to functional drug testing in Florida.


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