About the Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2018 and USF System CONSOLIDATION
Governor Rick Scott signed the Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2018, requiring the USF System – composed of University of South Florida Tampa, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee – to consolidate accreditations under one umbrella. The USF System now will begin a planning process to implement the law.
The USF System’s highest priority remains the success of our students by providing a world-class education. While a single, unified accreditation will elevate the success of all students and faculty, the law also has accounted for key measures that will uphold the distinctiveness of each campus, its leadership and budget while providing transparent accountability across the entire university and its campuses.
The consolidated accreditation does not go into effect immediately; rather, it will be officially completed on July 1, 2020. During the transition, all campuses will retain their accreditation, and at no time will any USF campus lapse in accreditation.
The USF Consolidation Planning Study and Implementation Task Force was established into law and will make recommendations to the USF Board of Trustees on how to improve service to students by phasing out the separate accreditations of each USF System campus. The Task Force must submit a report to the USF BOT that includes recommendations on the following:
- Degrees in programs of strategic emphasis to be offered at USFSP and USFSM and timeline for implementation;
- Maintaining the unique identity of each campus and an assessment of whether a separate educational mission is beneficial to each campus;
- Maintaining faculty input from all campuses;
- Developing the research capacity at each campus;
- Equitable distribution of programs and resources to establish pathways to admission for those students who require summer bridge programming and financial aid;
- Establishing budget transparency and accountability regarding student fees among campuses - including USF Health;
- Developing and delivering integrated academic programs, student and faculty governance, and admin services to serve the students, faculty and staff at the USF College of Marine Science, USFSM and USFSP.
Please refer to the FAQ page for a list of common questions about the new law.