Higher Ed Glossary
Click here for a glossary of general Higher Education terms.
Below you will find a glossary of USF-specific terms.
- 25Live Available Classrooms – Search through the available rooms around campus to see what is in use on a particular date. To reserve a room, you should contact the Space office.
- AAU– Association of American Universities, an elite group with roughly 60 members. USF aspires to be AAU-eligible in all metrics and parameters.
- AAC&U– Association of American Colleges and Universities. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises nearly 1,400 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.
- Academic Freedom – According to AAUP's 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, faculty, tenured or not, have full freedom in their research and in the publications of the results. Furthermore, teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in regards to their subject. Controversial matters not relevant to the course should be approached with care.
- ALC – Academic Learning Compacts; written "contracts" with students that explain, by major/program, what each student will be able to know and perform by the end of the program.
- APR – Academic Progression Rate, also known as first-year retention rate (as measured by final enrollment at the end of the SECOND fall term of a cohort of students).
- ARC Portal – Applications for Research Compliance; this portal serves as the entry point to create and update IRB applications.
- Archivum - This is a custom-built platform at USF to control back-end functions (like the Travel processes) and also track progress of individual students.
- ASC - Academic Success Center; the tutoring office on campus, located in the Library
- ATLE – Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence; the teaching center on campus.
- Auxiliary – A type of budget account that does not fit the other types (Foundation or the E&G "spending" account); has fewer restrictions on usage. Many departments have no auxiliary account.
- Banner – The software underlying OASIS; an Oracle database that is the main Student Information System (SIS) and enterprise software for student records.
- BOG – The Board of Governors is a state-level governing body for the Florida public universities (State University System).
- BOT – The Board of Trustees is a governing board for USF. Half the BOT is designated by the BOG and the other half appointed by Florida's governor.
- Bright Futures – The state of Florida administers this merit-based scholarship program. It is separate from the Florida Pre-Paid plan.
- Bull Runner - The on-campus shuttle, free when showing a USF faculty or student ID.
- Canvas – The learning management software at USF, hosted by a company called Instructure.
- Carry Forward – A type of budget account that is unspent money from the previous year's budget (the fiscal year ends June 30).
- CITI Modules – Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative; online training about responsible conduct of research, and required of all researchers at USF.
- Civitas - Company that provides predictive analytics platforms such as Illume-Students and Illume-Courses
- CLEP – College Level Examination Program; like AP courses, CLEP exams can be used to bypass college requires and earn credits toward graduation without additional coursework.
- CMS – Content Management System; the website hosting system in use by USF to present a common look/feel to USF websites (some departments may not yet be using the CMS).
- Collaborate Ultra – A product by Blackboard, available within Canvas for hosting webinars and synchronous online classes with students.
- Copyright –The USF Library offers a Copyright LibGuide that provides information on copyright and issues pertaining to copyrighted material. The Fair use exception to the current copyright laws permits the reproduction of portions of copyrighted works without the owner's permission. Section 107 of the Fair Use Doctrine lists the following purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair: criticism, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Visit the USF Library's Fair Use page for more information. The Library also has a guide on the TEACH Act.
- DegreeWorks – A tracking system like ATLAS that shows progress toward degree completion, but DegreeWorks is student-facing (ATLAS is for advisors).
- DMC – Digital Media Commons; a multimedia production area in the library that provides equipment, instruction, creative space, and assistance to USF students, faculty and staff.
- E&G – "Educational & General" type of budget account that is provided by the university annually to each department; this is the "spending money" of a unit. Cannot be used to purchase food.
- eDisclose – An online program from MyUSF that allows faculty to submit their annual conflict-of-interest (and alternate employment) declarations.
- eGrades – Electronic grades as submitted by instructors to the Registrar at the end of each term. Submitted through dedicated tool in Canvas.
- EthicsPoint hotline is a third-party hosted hotline to enable the safe, secure, and anonymous reporting of activities which may involve misconduct, fraud, abuse, and other violations of USF policies.
- Excess Hours Surcharge – is a state mandated fee that requires universities to add a surcharge to each credit hour that is more than 110% of hours needed for completion of your degree or 132 hours for 120 credit hour degree programs. Excess Credit Hour Surcharge = 100% more tuition per credit hour.
- eXplorance Blue – The brand name of the software used to collect student evaluations of teaching each semester, a process done completely online via student login to MyUSF.
- Faculty Handbook– maintained online by the Office of the Provost, contains links to important regulations, policies, procedures, and guidelines (including the collective bargaining agreement) at USF. There are also sections on evaluations, tenure, instructional policies, and sabbaticals.
- Faculty & Staff Campaign – This is a fundraising effort to encourage USF employees to contribute to USF.
- Faculty Voices – A newsletter distributed by ATLE twice a year with articles "by faculty, for faculty." Currently on hiatus.
- FAIR – Faculty Academic Information Reporting System; a program in MyUSF that faculty use to submit annual reports, update vita, and report annual FTE "effort".
- FAST – Financial Accounting System. Everything associated with university money (purchasing, grants, billing, budgets) lives in FAST. Faculty are likely to visit FAST for purchasing cards, if they are issued them, and the Travel and Expense center for travel authorizations.
- FERPA – Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This act of Congress dictates that student records (including grades) are to be kept confidential. In practice, this means grades and other records should never be posted, displayed, or made available in a way that one student can learn another student's grade. See https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html?src=rn
- FF Grade – An "F" grade that also marks academic misconduct / cheating. The second "F" (for cheating) can be added to any grade at the instructor's discretion.
- First-Day Attendance – USF has a policy that all students must attend the first day of class (or equivalent, if online) and this attendance is recorded via a dedicated tool in Canvas.
- FLC – Faculty Learning Community; a voluntary group of faculty members learning about, reading about, or researching common topics related to teaching. Coordinated by ATLE.
- FOREST– The computer network "domain" for most of the Tampa campus--though there are some exceptions.
- Foundation – A type of budget account (in this case, USF Foundation) that takes in money from donations. Some offices and colleges have unit-specific Foundation accounts. Foundation accounts can be used to purchase food.
- FTE – Full Time Equivalent. This is shorthand for the percentages/components that make up a faculty member's job. FTE always equals 1.0 (example: research 0.6, teaching 0.3, service 0.1).
- FTIC – First Time in College (previously called "freshmen").
- GEMS – Global Employment System. This is the "front end" of the employee-facing software, where sick leave, direct deposit, W-4, and other HR related functions are available via employee self-service.
- General Education Program (GEP) – These required, lower-division classes are sometimes called "core" courses at other colleges. They are often high-enrollment lecture classes. If your classes are taught in General Education, you should acquaint yourself with the program objectives, basis, course approval process, and outcomes.
- Gordon Rule – A term retired in 2014, Gordon Rule referred to classes that have a writing component under strictly-defined definitions provided by the State of Florida (including a cap of 30 students per teacher/grader). Students were required to take at least some Gordon Rule courses to graduate.
- Grading System at USF – Effective Fall 2000, USF faculty may use a plus/minus grading system to assign student
grades. The use of the plus/minus grading system is at the discretion of the individual
A Excellent performance 4.00
B Good performance 3.00
C Average performance 2.00
D Poor performance 1.00
F Failure 0.00
E Course repeated, not included in GPA
FF Failure/academic dishonesty
IF Incomplete grade changed to Failure
IU Incomplete grade changed to Unsatisfactory
M No grade submitted by instructor
MF Missing grade changed to Failure
MU Missing grade changed to Unsatisfactory
W Withdrawal from course without penalty
WC Withdrawal for extenuating circumstances
Z Indicates continuing registration.
- Help Desk – The faculty and student-facing office of IT that is the starting point for any help with computers, network, email, or telephones. See http://www.usf.edu/it/about-us/helpdesk.aspx.
- HR – Human Resources.
- IE – Institutional Effectiveness; an office that collects and reports data at a summary level.
- InfoCenter – This online portal provides public-facing data and reports about USF students, classes, and progress. See http://usfweb.usf.edu/dss/infocenter/.
- In-Unit – Regular positions at USF classified as "in-unit" are part of a "bargaining unit" and are therefore covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement, a contract that lays out certain terms and conditions of employment between the university and the faculty union. Most 9-month faculty members are in-unit. Adjunct and TA contracts are not part of collective bargaining.
- Innovative Education – The office on campus that coordinates distance education and extension courses.
- INTO USF – A for-profit academic program that provides a way for international students who don't meet the language criteria for direct USF admission to a program to have a path leading to USF matriculation.
- IRB – Institutional Review Board; the ethics panel that must approve any research involving human subjects – including new teaching methods, if intended for publication – before the research is carried out.
- IT – Information Technology; the support office for network, computers, and phones.
- ITD – International Teachers' Day; an ATLE event about teaching as an international instructor.
- Limited Access Major – These majors can only be declared when certain conditions are met, such as Junior
status, minimum GPA, and certain prerequisite classes.
- Last Day of Attendance – To comply with federal regulations regarding student attendance, faculty are required to enter students' last date of attendance for all students receiving an F, I, or U grade. The last date of attendance is defined as the last date a documented academic related activity was completed by the student for the course. In the event of a Federal audit, you may be asked to provide documentation (e.g. grade book entry, exams dates, submission of papers, etc.) to support the last date of attendance reported.
- LMS – Learning Management System; at USF we use Canvas.
- MIT – Media Innovation Team; this unit in Innovative Education provides video services for fully-online courses.
- MyUSF – Also called the "portal," this site allows users to login just once and access several different business systems without need of logging in again.
- NetID – Network ID; the primary login to computers and MyUSF, which has its own password. Often the same as the email address (without the @usf.edu portion).
- NFO – New Faculty Orientation; organized by the Provost's Office.
- OASIS – Online Access Student Information System; the primary access point for students to register for classes and see transcripts.
- OCEP – Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships; an office in Student Success that coordinates service-learning, internships, and other community partnerships.
- OUR – Office of Undergraduate Research.
- P-Card – Purchasing card, which uses departmental E&G funds to pay for purchases. Not issued to most faculty members.
- Panopto – A lecture-capture system available via Canvas (one of multiple options for lecture capture).
- Patel – Shorthand for Patel Center for Global Solutions, which is used as the administration building for USF, along with a few other offices.
- PCT – Preparing for College Teaching; an optional 10-week program offered by ATLE for graduate students in learning how to build a college class.
- PeopleSoft – While student information is held in Banner, employee information is contained in PeopleSoft, a separate system.
- Performance-Based Funding – A model for distributing money to universities by the State of Florida that rewards favorable graduation rates, student debt ratios, and several other factors.
- Physical Plant – USF's term for the facilities office, which handles such services as housekeeping, maintenance, and postal services on campus.
- Preeminence – University of South Florida has been designated as the state's third "preeminent state research university." The designation comes with millions of dollars in additional funding and places USF squarely in a new class of elite Florida universities. Preeminence program rewards high-performing state research institutions based on 12 metrics, including a high student admissions profile, at least two top 50 national rankings, at least six national academy members, extensive research expenditures and an endowment of $500 million or more, among others. (Find full details in Florida Statute 1001.7065.)
- Proctorio - Automated software to observe and proctor students while taking fully-online tests.
- QEP – The Quality-Enhancement Plan is a multiyear effort to focus campus energy, resources, and attention on a particular curricular matter to improve overall learning among students. The topic shifts every few years; starting in 2014, the QEP is "global citizenship."
- Respondus – Free software that enables easy upload of quizzes and tests into Canvas.
- Religious Holidays – For specific policies, see http://usfweb2.usf.edu/eoa/holydays.asp.
- RIA – Research Initiative Accounts; a type of budget account. For policies, see http://www.usf.edu/research-innovation/about-usfri/policies.aspx.
- Rocky – The USF mascot (a Bull). Rocky's image appears on class photo rosters when students have no ID card picture.
- SACS – Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; the main accrediting body for USF. Some individual colleges within USF has their own separate accreditation as well, such as business (AACSB), engineering (ABET), nursing (CCNE), and medicine (LCME).
- SAS – Student Accessibility Services.
- SIS – Student Information System; at USF we use Banner as the SIS to hold enrollment, transcript, and grade data.
- SMART Lab – Science, Math, and Research Technology lab; 300 computer stations variously used for synchronous class work ("flipped model") or open-use for students with no instructor present.
- SOCAT – Students of Concern Assistance Team; office that works with students who are troubled or whose behavior concerns others.
- Student Evaluations Mart – is a USF website that provides access to results of the Student Assessment of Instruction surveys completed each term in all USF courses. https://fair.usf.edu/EvaluationMart/
- Student Success – An initiative of USF to raise six-year graduation rates and accomplish goals in similar metrics.
- STS – Summer Teaching Symposium; a multi-day program offered by ATLE with workshops and roundtables designed to provide best practices in teaching and other means of renewal.
- Sunshine Laws – State of Florida-level laws about the release of public records (in short, almost everything can be requested by any member of the public, including private notes. This includes almost all emails sent and received).
- SUS – State University System; the collective name for 11 public universities in Florida.
- T&P – Short for Tenure and Promotion.
- TA Training – A required one-day event for new graduate teaching assistants and graders, which occurs on the Friday before the start of classes in Fall and Spring.
- TAR – Travel Authorization Request; this document needs to be created and approved BEFORE reservations are made for upcoming university travel.
- TEAMS - This product by Microsoft is a platform for instant messaging and conference calls using Internet access rather than a telephone.
- Tech Fee – A required fee students pay with registration that is then redistributed by committee on projects across campus that are submitted for consideration.
- TER – Travel Expense Report; a report that is appended to a TAR upon completion of university-authorized travel.
- Textbooks Ordering – Use the "Faculty Enlight" system of the USF Bookstore to order books - click on ADOPT after you create an account. Note that your books and course packs are required by policy to be available at the USF Bookstore (which is a Barnes and Noble). Also note that the State of Florida requires textbooks be ordered 45 days in advance of the start of the semester (and the bookstore itself needs the orders 4+ weeks before THAT moment). Florida's state government urges the use of open (free) textbooks to reduce student cost; see the Textbook Affordability Program for ideas and resources.
- TO-101 – Teaching Online; an online module and four-week course that Innovative Education requires before it certifies faculty to teach fully-online courses.
- Turnitin – A plagiarism-detection service, accessible from within Canvas.
- UCM – University Communications and Marketing; the media relations team for USF.
- UFF – United Faculty of Florida; the union which bargains for in-unit faculty at USF.
- U-Number – The employee number first assigned upon hire; it contains a "U" at the start. Less frequently used than the NetID in most software.
- USF Health – USF Health has a separate budget line and reporting structure from the Tampa campus. It includes Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Physical Therapy, Biomedical Sciences, and Pharmacy.
- USF World – An office on campus that coordinates study abroad, international services, and various education and research goals related to global and international issues.