The University of Florida will hire 500 new faculty to further enhance teaching and research and to continue to be one of the very best research universities in the nation, UF President Kent Fuchs announced Friday.

UF’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution in of the announcement.

“We know what we need to do and we are laser-focused on several areas that will have the greatest impact on our educational and research missions while giving UF an edge to compete successfully with the nation’s other top institutions for talented faculty, students and staff,” Fuchs said. “UF ranks among the top 10 public research universities and we have our eye on being among the top five.”

The 500 new faculty hires represent a number over and above the 300 to 400 faculty that UF hires annually to replace those who retire or leave the university, UF Provost Joe Glover said.

Funding for new hires and compensation increases will come initially from a $52 million allocation to UF that the Legislature approved earlier this year and from reallocated internal resources, Glover said. The university will also seek additional funding from a variety of sources for future years.