About the Magazine
From the President
Over the past 19 years, I’ve been privileged to be a part of an incredible transformation
at USF. What was once a highly regarded regional university has become a global research
powerhouse, making discoveries that have lasting impacts on our society. We have become
an economic engine for our region and our state. And we are nationally and internationally
recognized for our dedication to the success of our students.
It is this impressive progress that recently earned USF the prestigious Award for Institutional Transformation from the American Council on Education – one of the most highly regarded higher education organizations in the nation. This award highlights USF’s cultural evolution as a result of its student success movement. USF has been repeatedly recognized for its high-impact practices that provide targeted support to students in the right way, at the right time. As just one example of this effort’s success, since 2009 we have increased our six-year graduation rates from 51 percent to 73 percent today.
In this issue of USF Magazine, I am honored to reflect back on my time as president in our generous retrospective cover story. This is really the story of USF’s meteoric rise as a Preeminent research university and our ability to reach milestones once unheard of for an institution such as ours. Milestones including: Our $1 billion fundraising campaign, one of just three universities in the country founded since 1956 to achieve such a large campaign; our record-breaking research activity year after year, which now puts USF in the top 25 nationally among public universities; our ever-increasing student profile and our ability to retain and graduate our students at a higher rate than ever before – students of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.
The relentless energy and optimistic vision that fueled our achievements is alive
and well – as evidenced throughout the rest of this issue. You will read about more
institutional advancements, stories that highlight our impressive alumni and students,
and research breakthroughs in critical areas like sustainability and medicine.
We also feature a number of exciting new programs and initiatives at USF, including:
- The opening of a unique new health center dedicated to providing top care for women
– the Pamela Muma Women’s Health Center. Pamela Muma very generously donated $2 million
to make this new center a reality, which we believe will become a national model in
- Our new Medical Engineering program and state-of-the-art new facility, made possible
by investments from our designation as a Preeminent State Research University. USF
is one of just a few universities with a medical engineering department, and one of
only four in Florida to offer a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering. This
program enables important interdisciplinary collaboration that will fuel advancements
in biomedicine, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and medical devices.
- The USF College of Nursing is joining with USF St. Petersburg to provide an Accelerated
Second-Degree nursing program on the St. Petersburg campus, which will help to address
the significant need for nurses in the region. This is a fantastic example of the
kind of collaboration across the USF System that can expand education and research
opportunities for our students and our faculty. A similar arrangement is planned in
the near future for USF Sarasota-Manatee.
- The dedication of our new National Pan-Hellenic Commemorative Plaza, which makes USF the first non-historically black college or university in Florida to develop such a space. The plaza celebrates and honors the achievements of the NPHC members and their contributions to educational institutions and communities.
And so much more.
Again, I want to thank you for your unwavering dedication to USF. It has been a remarkable transformation, indeed. Your friendship and support over the last 19 years have been invaluable and deeply appreciated. USF is entering a new and exciting era.
JUDY GENSHAFT, USF SYSTEM PRESIDENT