USF’s current strategic plan emphasizes “community partnerships” as integral to the university’s vision, values and priorities:
Vision: "Community partnerships to build significant locally and globally integrated university-community collaborations through sound scholarly and artistic activities and technological innovation.”
Values: “Global research, community engagement and public service; Entrepreneurial spirit, community partnerships, and innovation
Priorities: “USF will, as a highly effective major economic engine, create new community partnerships to build a strong and sustainable future for Florida in the global economy.”
USF follows the State University System Board of Governors 2025 Strategic Plan Goals to strengthen quality and recognition of commitment to community and business engagement; increase community and business engagement, and increase community and business workforce.
USF is recognized as a “community engaged university” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which recognizes “collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnerships and reciprocity.”
Indeed, as a major metropolitan research university, USF has significant community relationships and collaborative partnerships which contributes to research and education in a wide variety of disciplines – with knowledge gained from these activities applied to addressing local needs and social problems.
Two university-wide offices are dedicated to expanding these collaborations and providing service to community and university partners:
Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships (OCEP): OCEP provides faculty with a variety of services for growing community engaged research including development and assessment of service-learning courses. It also connects community members and organizations with USF resources including faculty experts and service-learning students, and program evaluation.
Office of Corporate Partnerships (OCP): A joint venture of USF Research and Innovation and the USF Foundation, OCP is a “front door” to the university, providing concierge service by connecting community organizations and companies seeking a relationship with USF to the right point of contact and program for them. It is charged with identifying potential community partners to collaborate with faculty and students for educational programs, innovation, internships and sponsored research.