The University of Central Florida Board of Trustees recognized the academic success of UCF’s student-athletes on Thursday and also honored the football and cheerleading squads for ranking among the nation’s best.

A presentation by Academic Services for Student-Athletes (ASSA) highlighted the student-athletes’ increased GPAs and graduation rates. The average team GPA, for example, has increased from 2.95 between 2003 and 2005 to 3.05 between 2008 and 2010.

UCF also led all Conference USA schools by placing an average of about 200 student-athletes on the conference commissioner’s academic honor roll each year between 2006 and 2010.

President John C. Hitt praised the UCF cheerleaders for placing third this month in the Universal Cheerleaders Association national championships. KnightMoves, UCF’s dance team, also placed in the top 10 nationally.

Spirit team coach Linda Gooch was recognized for winning the Colonel Gene Moeller Award from the Universal Cheerleaders Association and Universal Dance Association. The award honors university administrators who have made a significant impact on their university spirit teams.

Since Gooch’s cheerleading squads began competing in the national championships in 1994, they have won two national titles, placed second twice and earned 14 top-10 finishes.

Trustees applauded Coach George O’Leary and the football team for earning a top 25 national ranking and winning the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in 2010.

In other action, the Board of Trustees:

Approved increases in some student fees for 2011-12. The activity and service fee will not change. Increases per credit hour in other fees will be 12 cents for athletics, 36 cents for health and 81 cents for transportation access. Among the many services supported by the increases will be the hiring of additional mental health therapists and the free student shuttles that connect the East Orlando campus with nearby apartment complexes. Trustees also approved new rates for parking decals and housing.

Approved a financing plan for a new, 1,080-space parking garage scheduled to open in 2012 along with the expansion of student housing in Academic Village. The financing plan will be presented in March to the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees all of the state’s public universities.

Learned that UCF enrolled 46 National Merit Scholars in fall 2010, again placing the university among the top 50 schools in the country for the number of scholars enrolled.

Praised faculty members and Office of Research & Commercialization staff members for helping UCF become a top-tier research university as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Lauded Trustee Harris Rosen for being named the Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year.  He will be honored at Cornell’s campus in April.

Congratulated Professor Peter Delfyett of the College of Optics and Photonics for receiving the American Physical Society’s Edward A. Bouchet Award for his contributions in the areas of ultrafast optical device physics and ultrafast lasers and for his efforts in the career development of minority students in science and engineering.

Congratulated Associate Professor John Shen of the College of Engineering and Computer Science for being elected a fellow to the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology.

Honored Assistant Professor Chengying Xu in the College of Engineering and Computer Science for receiving the 2011 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. The award recognizes manufacturing engineers from industry and higher education who are age 35 or younger and who have made exceptional contributions to the manufacturing industry.