News

Excellence at Work

Parking & Transportation Purchases Two New Buses

August 20th, 2018 - The University of South Florida's Parking and Transportation Services Division (PATS) recently purchased two new Bull Runner buses as part of their strategic goal to replace the aging Bull Runner fleet. The purchase of these new buses enables PATS to retire two older buses that had increasing maintenance costs and down time. These new buses are expected to join the Bull Runner fleet's normal operation by September 2018.

Photo of one of the two new buses purchased by PATS taken outside the School of Music building.
One of the two new buses purchased by PATS taken outside the School of Music building.

Emergency Management Exercise

August 8th, 2018 - USF's Emergency Management department held a on-the-job training exercise on campus. As part of this exercise, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated and a Incident Command Post was established. The exercise was based off of the fictitious scenario of a gas tanker flipping over and catching on fire on the corner of USF Holly Drive and Sycamore Drive.

Historically, the Emergency Management department has participated in tabletop exercises for preparation of emergency situations. In a tabletop exercise, stakeholders meet and go over what they would do when an emergency situation was occurring, but it does not include the actual action of setting up resources and using related systems. For this exercise, Emergency Management wanted to provide a more realistic response scenario where stakeholders would be responsible for performing the actions they would normally only discuss in a tabletop exercise. This hands-on approach allowed essential personnel to test equipment, run through software program proficiency, and learn to troubleshoot issues as they come up in established processes. Emergency Management plans to continue these active exercises when possible as they provide more hands on training for employees who will be activated during an emergency situation.


Preparing for THE Young Universities Summit

June 27th, 2018 - USF proudly hosted Times Higher Education's (THE) Young Universities Summit from June 5 to June 7. The annual summit brought together leaders from the world's best and most ambitious young research universities to discuss their institutions' success as knowledge creators and their impact on the wider higher education sector. USF was the first institution in the United States to ever host this summit. With 261 attendees and 88 universities represented, major preparations were made on campus.

For our grounds teams, preparations began about 30 days prior to the event, after leadership determined areas of improvement that should be addressed. These areas included the Marshall Student Center, Leroy Collins Boulevard, and the Patel Center for Global Solutions. The areas were chosen due to the proximity of where summit attendees would tour and visit during their time on campus.

After identifying these areas of concern, the grounds teams went to work. The next four weeks employees worked on a compressed schedule to complete the major projects presented to them. Over 5,000 plants, 3,000 sq. ft of sod, and 500 annual flowers were among some of the refreshments made throughout campus. Work continued throughout campus, up until the day before the summit, with the majority of work being completed by June 1st.

While the initial request was a grooming of the area, the event's importance created a need for a refresh of multiple areas on campus. Through hard work of the grounds teams, USF was ready to show off its beautiful campus to summit attendees.

Grounds employee trimming hedges outside large USF logo signage.

Groundskeepers trimmed numerous hedges around campus to make sure all foliage was well kept for THE Young Universities Summit.

Department of Homeland Security's Campus Resilience Program

June 25th, 2018 - The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Academic Engagement recently released three exercise starter kits designed to help higher education institutions prepare for disasters as part of their Campus Resilience Program. These exercise kits include tabletop exercises for hurricanes, active shooter(s), and cyber threats that better prepare personnel for emergency situations that universities may face.

USF was chosen to be one of only four universities in the United States to participate in the testing of an exercise kit and was one of only two to test the hurricane starter kit. The training materials were used in one of the Department of Emergency Management's hurricane preparedness exercises . These exercises include specific scenarios for University decision makers to run through, as if they were facing the emergency at that time. By practicing the procedures and learning how to handle changing scenarios ahead of time, USF, and other universities, will be better prepared when or if these situations ever occur.

After running through the exercise with these starter kits, USF's team was able to provide valuable input on the strengths of the materials in the kit and where the kit could be improved. Some additions made due to the feedback provided by USF include a glossary and an After Action Report template. USF personnel also found areas for improvement with their own processes such as additional Health and Human Service components. With the kits now released to universities across the United States, USF's additions and feedback can be used as best practices for higher education institutions in the Department of Homeland Security's focus on preparedness and resiliency. You can learn more about these starter kits by visiting the Department of Homeland Security's website.


On-campus Publix

January 3, 2018 - The construction of USF’s on-campus Publix, a first of its kind for the grocery chain, is getting underway near the corner of Palm Dr. and Fletcher Ave., next to “The Village”. 


Energy Efficient LED Lighting Conversion in Parking Lots and Garages

Parking and Transportation Services along with Facilities Management are converting all parking garage lights and parking lot lights to longer lasting and more energy efficient LED lights. This is a multi-phase project, started in 2017, will reduce utility costs and improve safety. The project is being funded by the Student Green Energy Fund.


Emergency Door Lock Buttons in Classrooms

Facilities Management is installing push button emergency door lock systems to enable occupants to quickly and easily lockdown the room during emergency situations. When activated, room occupants will be able to exit the space, but the doors will be locked from the outside. In 2017 emergency door lock buttons were installed in the 20 largest classrooms campus, Facilities Management will continue installing the systems in classroom across campus as part of a multi-phase plan. Read FAQs about the emergency door lock buttons.