The Institutional Effectiveness and Academic Planning teams provide leadership on USF's institutional accreditation and support for discipline specific accreditation requirements including annual reporting to the Florida Board of Governors.

We serve as USF's liaison to our institutional accreditor, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and to the State University System's Board of Governors (BOG) for matters related to: Accreditation and Assessment; the formation and dissolution of new academic programs, centers, and institutes; partnerships with other educational institutions; and, other substantive changes. 

We coordinate the creation of new academic programs, including administration of the intent proposal system and the five-year master academic plan. We also analyze labor market data provided by Burning Glass and coordinate analysis of curricular offerings, providing a central repository for University-level information about academic offerings.

We also facilitate the evaluation of academic programs by assuring the quality of student learning outcomes assessment and facilitating academic program review activities.

USF’s accreditation liaison role is split between two individuals. Dr. Christopher Combie ( was appointed USF’s Accreditation Liaison and Cynthia Brown Hernandez ( was appointed USF’s Deputy Accreditation Liaison.

Following is a breakdown of responsibilities by individual. Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list.

Accreditation Liaison Responsibilities:

  • Communications with Accrediting Agency;
  • Advises University Leadership about Relevant Existing or New Accrediting Agency’s Requirements;
  • Coordination and Collection of Accrediting Agency’s Reports;
  • Reviews Accrediting Agency’s Ad-Hoc Requests;
  • Assures accuracy of Reporting of USF’s Information to the Accrediting Agency;
  • Reviews Internship Agreements signed by Provost for Compliance;
  • Monitors changes to the Accrediting Body’s Policy and Principles;
  • Manages USF’s Reaffirmation of Accreditation.

Deputy Accreditation Liaison Responsibilities:

  • Reviews Articulation Agreements, MOUs, MOAs, Contracts, Internal Agreements for Compliance;
  • Reviews Internal Agreements related to Curriculum for Compliance;
  • Coordinates reporting Off-Campus Instructional Sites;
  • Coordinates reporting of Mode of Delivery Changes;
  • Manages USF’s Substantive Change Process;
  • Provides guidance on Transfer Articulation;
  • Provides guidance on Competency-Based Education and Awarding Credit for Prior Learning;
  • Reviews USF’s Policies and Regulations for Compliance;
  • Serves on USF’s Calendar Committee;
  • Produces USF’s Institutional Summary.

If you have a question related to an area listed above, please reach out directly to the individual responsible for that item. If, however, you have an accreditation-related matter or question that is not listed above, please reach out to both Christopher and Cynthia so they may respond accordingly.