Strategic Renewal

Executive Summary

The bedrock of our strategic renewal is a commitment to community principles that reinforce inclusion, civility, open expression, evidence-based deliberations, and vigorous debate.

President Steve Currall

The University of South Florida (USF) has emerged as one of the nation’s fastest-rising universities with respect to research productivity, student success and positive impact on the communities it serves. This document provides a blueprint for continuing USF’s ascent in global and national visibility during the next ten years.

Based on USF’s current upward trajectory and consolidation of our three campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee during 2020, we commenced a process of strategic renewal—distinct from more common strategic planning exercises—with an already strong shared sense of institutional identity, mission and values. USF’s current trajectory has been presaged in strategic plans since the 1980s, which inform our modern aspirations that are also well-defined, such as our aim to be on a trajectory toward eligibility for membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) and become a Top-25 public research university. This new strategic plan presents a blueprint for pursuing the university’s goals and aspirations by capitalizing on our urban setting and unique academic assets.

Today’s phenomenon of global urbanization, unprecedented in human history, presents a durable strategic framework for USF’s maturing role as an urban research university. The plan articulates seven strategic initiatives and identifies eleven core institutional commitments that collectively present a pathway to achieving our aspirations during the coming decade. The strategic initiatives leverage USF’s current academic disciplinary excellence by delineating research and instructional programs that are sources of sustainable competitive advantage in the fast-paced and fluid landscape of higher education. The institutional commitments may themselves also be sources of differentiation, but are compulsory enablers of activities the university is pursuing.

Taken together, this blueprint is intended to provide a vision for the university’s trajectory that will inform deliberations by deans and academic and administrative unit leaders as they establish and implement unit-based strategic priorities and implementation plans. Moreover, this strategic plan is designed to be inclusive of all faculty, students, and staff, based on their own research, academic, and professional interests. Perhaps most importantly, in addition to proposing what USF aims to accomplish in the future, this plan includes a call to action based on a reciprocal “USF Compact” between the university and the communities it serves: For USF to fulfill its service mission, it must be fueled by even more vigorous support from alumni, business and community partners, philanthropists and government leaders.


"A Blueprint for a Bold Future: Where Academic Excellence and Opportunity Converge" was approved by the USF Board of Trustees on June 8, 2021, and is pending approval by the Board of Governors in September 2021.

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