University of South Florida


Announcing Strategic Planning Advisory Task Force

Dear USF Community, 

Throughout 2020, the University of South Florida has met tremendous challenges while continuing to pursue our academic aspirations and commitment to building a strong future. This has included advancing our plan for USF’s strategic renewal, which I first introduced shortly after arriving in 2019. Strategic renewal, as distinct from a completely new strategic planning initiative, begins with many fundamental questions already answered regarding USF’s identity, our direction and our values. 

Today, I am pleased to announce the formation of the USF Strategic Planning Advisory Task Force. Guided by our shared Principles of Community, the charge of the Task Force is to help craft a strategic plan for the university that will be submitted to the Board of Trustees for consideration in June 2021, and subsequently to the Board of Governors. 

The Task Force members are:

  • Charles Stanish, Task Force Chair; Professor of Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences; Executive Director, Institute for the Advanced Study of Culture and the Environment
  • Sylvia Wilson Thomas, Task Force Vice Chair; Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Golfo Alexopoulos, Professor of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, College of Arts and Sciences; Founding Director, Institute on Russia
  • Mya Breitbart, Professor of Biological Oceanography, College of Marine Science
  • Michael Cross, Instructor, Judy Genshaft Honors College
  • Bárbara Cruz, Professor of Social Science Education, College of Education
  • Michael Foley, Professor of Dance, College of the Arts
  • Robert Frisina, Distinguished University Professor and Department Chair of Medical Engineering, College of Engineering and Morsani College of Medicine; Director, Global Center for Hearing & Speech Research
  • Ramon Gonzalez, Professor and Florida 21st Century World Class Scholar of Chemical, Biological, and Materials Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Clifton Gooch, Professor and Department Chair of Neurology, Morsani College of Medicine; Tampa General Hospital Endowed Chair, Department of Neurology; Vice President, Clinical and Translational Research, Tampa General Hospital
  • Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, Associate Professor of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences, Senior Advisor to the President and Provost for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Matthew Knight, Associate Librarian; Affiliate Faculty of History, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Claire Mitchell, USF Student Body President; Member, USF Board of Trustees
  • Sunil Mithas, Professor and World Class Scholar of Information Systems and Management, Muma College of Business
  • Zacharias Pieri, Assistant Professor of International Relations and Security Studies, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Angela Sklenka, Vice President of Human Resources
  • Gregory Teague, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Mental Health Law and Policy, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences
  • Thomas Unnasch, Distinguished USF Health Professor and Department Chair of Global Health, College of Public Health
  • Edelyn Verona, Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

Brian Ten Eyck, Vice President for Executive Affairs and Chief of Staff to the President, and Paige Beles Geers, Deputy Chief of Staff, will provide support.

Also, as part of our process, today we have launched a Strategic Renewal website that provides the timeline and framework for the strategic planning process and access to related materials. 

A vital part of the process will be to invite input from all university stakeholders. We will facilitate this through multiple platforms to include virtual events, an anonymous email survey, and through an open-response form on the website.

The pace of our work will be brisk. I look forward to receiving the draft recommendations of the Task Force in time for the Board of Trustees Strategic Initiatives Committee meeting on 23 February 2021, and final recommendations by the end of April 2021. 

I look forward to your input, which will shape the plan for the future of our great university. I also want to thank each member of the Task Force for their time and dedication. 


Steven C. Currall, Ph.D.
President and Professor

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