Office of the President

President's Biography

Dr. Judy Genshaft

University of South Florida System
President and CEO/Corporate Secretary

Since becoming president in 2000, Dr. Judy Genshaft has catapulted the University of South Florida System to national and international prominence for student success, academic rigor, research and innovation, and economic development.

With campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, the USF System serves 50,500 students in 235 degree programs ranging from undergraduate to doctor of medicine and several other health professions. More than 13,000 students earn degrees each year at USF's three separately accredited institutions.

USF Tampa is a public research university classified as both a Doctoral University with "Highest Research Activity" and as a "Community Engaged" institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Since Dr. Genshaft became president, the university's research enterprise has grown from annual expenditures of $186 million to $515 million, placing USF among the National Science Foundation's top 30 universities for research expenditures. USF is the ninth largest public research university in the nation with an annual budget of almost $2 billion. Additionally, the USF System ranks fifth in the nation among public universities and 11th worldwide for granted U.S. patents among all universities.

USF also earns widespread recognition for its commitment to student success. At the time of Dr. Genshaft's appointment as president, the six-year graduation rate was 38 percent. In 2017, it was 70 percent. Of particular significance is the fact that the university has closed the graduation rate gap by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The Education Trust ranks USF as the No. 1 public university for eliminating the completion gap between Latino and white students, and No. 6 in the nation for black student success. The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems selected USF as a national mentor university for black and Latino student success.

USF achieved multiple milestones in 2017. Dr. Genshaft led the "Unstoppable" capital campaign that exceeded its goal of $1 billion. This is an extremely rare achievement; only two other public universities founded since 1956 – both in California – have completed a $1 billion campaign. Also, USF now meets the requirements under Florida state law to be designated as a Preeminent State Research University. Only two other institutions have earned that designation, and both are more than 100 years older than USF.

President Genshaft has been instrumental in economic development efforts in the Tampa Bay region, serving as chair of The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Tampa Bay Partnership, and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. In 2018, she will chair the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. The university has been a catalyst for economic development; USF Tampa's innovation and economic development efforts alone generate more than $400 million in statewide impact each year, sustain more than 3,000 jobs, and return more than $52 million in tax revenue to local, state and federal governments.

Nationally, President Genshaft has served as chair for the American Council on Education (ACE) and is a member of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) Board of Directors. In 2010, she made National Collegiate Athletic Association history when she became the first woman to chair the Division I Board. She also is a past chair of the Big East and American Athletic Conference Councils of Presidents.

President Genshaft has earned recognition from professional organizations and community groups throughout her career. Her honors include: 2008 Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame; Tampa Bay Business Journal's 2007 Business Woman of the Year; Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Presents Dottie Berger MacKinnon Woman of Influence Award; Tampa World Trade Center's Betty Castor Lifetime Achievement Award; Florida Economic Council's Richard L. McLaughlin Award; and recipient of the Amiga Award for Non-Hispanic Women whose outstanding efforts have improved the quality of life in the Hispanic community.

President Genshaft also has received national and international honors, including: APLU's Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award; ACE Donna Shavlik Award; the Global Leadership Award from Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn in Bangkok, Thailand; the Captain of Education Award from Hadassah College in Jerusalem, Israel; an honorary doctorate from Saint Ignatius of Loyola University, Peru; and as the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate in literature from Yeungnam University, South Korea. In 2016, Dr. Genshaft was honored by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators with the Dr. Claire Van Ummersen Presidential Leadership Award.

A native of Ohio, Dr. Genshaft earned her bachelor's degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and both her Master's and Doctoral degrees from Kent State University. She is the author or co-author of more than 75 journal articles, and she has edited and authored three books on gifted education and intellectual assessment. Dr. Genshaft also has contributed chapters, essays and articles to more than 20 books, journals and publications on current topics in higher education leadership.