Diversity & Inclusion
USF Diversity Statement
The mission statement of the University of South Florida indicates that the University is dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, service, and community engagement. The University is a multi-campus national research university that supports the development of the metropolitan Tampa Bay Region, the State of Florida, the United States and the world. The University values cultural and ethnic diversity and global understanding. The university also values community engagement and enriching the quality of campus life (USF Strategic Plan 2007-2012).
The University of South Florida endeavors to make academic excellence inclusive by sustaining a community of free inquiry in which people of diverse race, ethnicity, veteran status, marital status, socio-economic level, national origin, religious belief, physical ability, sexual orientation, age, class, political ideology, gender identity and expression participate in, contribute to, and benefit equally, from the academic community. A diverse campus environment, in which differences are respected and appreciated, promotes more effective teaching, produces greater learning outcomes, and better prepares students for an increasingly diverse workforce and pluralistic society.
Consequently, the University acknowledges the educational benefits of diversity in education and is committed to maintaining a diverse student body at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as perpetuating initiatives that enhance the diversity of the campus climate, curriculum, student body, faculty, staff, and administration.
It is through valuing diversity that the University acknowledges the uniqueness of all individuals, their commonalities as well as differences, all of which have shaped their lives in meaningful ways. Diversity is demonstrated by appreciating all members of the university community. It embraces uniqueness, similarities, and differences. Diversity initiatives strengthen the university community and demonstrate USF's commitment to "touching lives and improving the world."
USF also recognizes that enhancing diversity requires leadership and commitment. Therefore, the University endeavors to implement a university-wide, multi-faceted, comprehensive diversity program that will accomplish the following goals: Sustain diversity as a dynamic, on-going process that demonstrates appreciation for all individuals, including their differences; Promote institutional policies, practices, and initiatives that support this process; Maintain accountability regarding diversity at all levels and across programs; Evaluate the effectiveness of diversity practices for continuous improvement; Encourage thoughtful and deliberate integration of diversity into everyday practice; Prepare students for an increasingly pluralistic and democratic society; and Empower students to compete in the global marketplace. The Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Office and Equal Opportunity Liaisons will function as facilitators in the University's realization of these goals.