About the University
The University of South Florida (USF) invites nominations and applications for the position of Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs (Provost). Reporting directly to President Rhea F. Law, the Provost serves as the chief academic officer for USF and will be expected to work in concert with the President to strengthen the University’s academic reputation as a leading institution of higher education and research. The Provost provides university-wide leadership in faculty affairs, planning, establishing priorities, assessing needs, and evaluating outcomes for programs and functions to further the academic mission including strategic planning, program planning and review, enrollment management, distance learning, and accountability and institutional effectiveness. USF seeks a Provost with vision and integrity who will continue to enhance the University’s distinction as a leader for innovation in higher education.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA
The University of South Florida, a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success, generates an annual economic impact of more than $6 billion. Situated in the vibrant and diverse Tampa Bay region, USF is dedicated to empowering students to maximize their potential for lifelong success. With campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee, USF serves more than 50,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, and professional degrees. Across 13 colleges, students can choose from more than 200 majors, minors, and concentrations, from business and engineering to the arts and health. Undergraduate students are also able to choose to enroll in the Judy Genshaft Honors College. USF is the fastest-rising university in America over the past decade, public or private, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings, and for the third consecutive year, USF ranks as one of the nation’s top 50 public universities. Founded in 1956, USF was conceived as a progressive, modern university that would be forever tied to the development of the community of which it is a part. USF is one of only three universities in the state system—the only of the three established in the 20th century—designated preeminent. Fueled in part by an endowment that has grown to over $692 million, USF is a relatively young university with rich traditions—traditions of access and opportunity for students, academic excellence, transformational research, and service to the community.
STRATEGIC PLANNING AND ONGOING INITIATIVES
The University of South Florida is moving into a bold and exciting future guided by its goals and vision, and an ambitious new strategic plan, In Pursuit of Excellence. This five-year plan (2022-2027) positions USF as a powerful engine of prosperity for the future and includes clear objectives and measures of success to foster a culture of accountability to further propel USF on its trajectory toward achieving a Top-25 U.S.News & World Report public ranking. Embedded within the strategic plan are USF’s Core Commitments, which are powerful enablers of any activity the university elects to pursue, and seven Strategic Areas of Focus, which represent converging themes in teaching, research, and innovation across all three campuses.
The Accountability Plan is an annual report that is closely aligned with the State University System Board of Governors’ 2025 System Strategic Plan. This report enhances the System’s commitment to accountability and strategic planning by fostering greater coordination between institutional administrators, University Boards of Trustees and the Board of Governors regarding each institution’s direction and priorities as well as performance expectations and outcomes on institutional and System-wide goals. Review USF’s most recent Accountability Plan draft here.
ONE UNIVERSITY, GEOGRAPHICALLY DISTRIBUTED
The Tampa campus boasts more than 1,500 acres and 240 buildings and has been recognized as a top performer in campus sustainability. Providing students the best of both metropolitan and rural, the Tampa campus borders the USF forest preserve and riverfront recreation area and remains easily accessible from the heart of downtown. The University’s largest research intensive campus, the Tampa campus is home to the USF Research Park, which brings together world-class researchers, inventors, and entrepreneurs eager to collaborate with a highly trained, high-tech workforce.
Sitting on the western shore of Tampa Bay, the USF St. Petersburg campus provides many of the advantages of a large public university campus while maintaining the ability to offer small class sizes in a close-knit learning environment. Home to the College of Marine Science and the statewide Florida Institute of Oceanography, the St. Petersburg campus provides ample opportunity for innovation and collaboration with businesses and cultural institutions, affording students the ability to explore their passions, be creative, and experience life both inside and outside the classroom. The campus is recognized for its significant commitment to community involvement and civic engagement by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The St. Petersburg campus is included in the St. Petersburg Innovation District, which is dedicated to formal and informal relationships that have the potential to generate, sharpen, and accelerate the advancement of ideas.
USF’s Sarasota-Manatee campus is centrally located at the convergence of growing Sarasota and Manatee counties, across from the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. Students benefit from small class sizes, a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and programs focused on business, cybersecurity, nursing, health sciences, hospitality and tourism management, and more. The campus benefits from strong ties with the local communities, hosting the Florida Center for Partnerships in Arts-Integrated Teaching (PAInT), an accelerated nursing program, the David Kotok and Cumberland Advisors Bloomberg lab, and a robust biology program with teaching laboratories at the Mote Marine Laboratory.
The University of South Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees. In July 2020, the USF campuses were consolidated in response to legislative requirements enacted as part of the Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2018. Find more information about the consolidation of SACSCOC accreditations here.
In addition to the university-wide accreditation, many schools and degree programs carry discipline-specific accreditation through their professional association or other recognized organizations.
The Florida Board of Governors oversees the operation and management of the State University System of Florida, including 12 public universities and an enrollment of more than 330,000 students.
The USF Board of Trustees is the public body corporate of the University. It sets cost-effective policy for the institution and serves as the legal owner and governing board. The Board of Trustees is responsible for high quality education programs within the laws of the State of Florida and regulations of the Florida Board of Governors. The Board of Trustees is composed of thirteen members, six of whom are appointed by the Florida Governor and five of whom are appointed by the Florida Board of Governors and confirmed by the Florida Senate for a term of five years. The elected Faculty Senate President and Student Government President also serve as trustees.
Rhea F. Law serves as the eighth president of the University of South Florida. A proud fifth-generation Floridian who is passionate about the success of the state, Law is the first USF alum to fill the role. She earned an undergraduate degree in management from USF, putting herself through school while working as the university research project administrator for the Office of Sponsored Research. She is one of the founding members of the USF Board of Trustees, where she spent five years as vice chair and four years as the first (and only) female chair, contributing significantly to USF’s growth and evolution as a Research 1 public university. Before her tenure as President, Law was the CEO and Chair of the Board of Fowler White Boggs, a Florida law firm. She led the merger of Fowler with a national firm, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, in 2014 where she continued to serve as Chair, Florida Offices, until 2021. The consolidation of the firms created a powerhouse firm with law offices throughout the country and hundreds of lawyers who specialize in a broad spectrum of business areas such as Energy, Finance, Healthcare, and Life Sciences. President Law received her J.D. from Stetson University College of Law. Her areas of practice included higher education, economic development, government, environment, and land use. Over the course of her 35-year-plus career, Law has worked with clients on land use and strategic planning to meet the needs of a growing Florida.
As a national research university of “very high research activity” (classified as R1 by the Carnegie Foundation), the University of South Florida is committed to creating new knowledge and employing those discoveries to the common good in multiple ways, including contributing to the economic development of the region, the state, and beyond. At USF, every student is empowered to forge their path to success. The University’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs are globally competitive and are committed to engaging students through positive teaching and learning environments. Within the classroom and beyond, students maximize their potential through interdisciplinary inquiry, intellectual development, and skill acquisition. Faculty offer personalized teaching and pursue innovative research while providing a distinctive learning and living environment for students to become informed and productive global citizens. Across 13 different colleges, students choose from 246 undergraduate majors and degree programs at the graduate, specialist, and doctoral levels, including the Doctor of Medicine.
The College of The Arts is the creative center at USF, providing an immersive scholarly, artistic, and technical environment for tomorrow’s leaders in architecture, community design, art, art history, music, theatre, and dance. It is also home to the Institute for Research in Art, comprising the Contemporary Art
Museum, Graphicstudio, the Public Art Program, and Art in Health. The College offers programs to approximately 1,200 students at the Tampa and St. Petersburg campuses.
With programs offered at all three campuses, the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) is the largest college at USF and is home to the School of Humanities, the School of Social Sciences, and the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. CAS enrolls close to 18,000 students and is home to numerous Centers and Institutes that bring faculty, students, and community members together around specific research topics.
The College of Behavioral & Community Sciences serves nearly 3,100 students on the Tampa campus and offers seven undergraduate, 14 master's, and seven doctoral programs housed in six academic departments/schools. The College is home to the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, one of the largest behavioral health research and training institutes in the country as well as 18 specialized Research Centers and Institutes.
The Muma College of Business boasts one of the nation's best accounting schools, a top-ranked entrepreneurship center, a nationally ranked MBA program, and world-class research faculty. The consolidated Muma College of Business, located across all three campuses, is one college with six schools, enrolling about 7,000 students in undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.
Home to roughly 2,100 students, the College of Education values high-quality education and excellence in research, teaching, and learning. The USF College of Education operates on multiple campuses and offers state-of-the-art teacher training and collaborative and collegial graduate studies designed to empower educational leaders.
The College of Engineering comprises seven departments: Chemical, Biological & Materials Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Medical Engineering. The College provides a high-quality educational experience for over 6,000 students and practicing professionals and offers programs at the Tampa and Sarasota-Manatee campuses. The College of Engineering is home to 11 major research centers and institutes.
The Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGS) is the newest degree-granting college at USF and is unique in its mission and its approach. Close to 200 graduate students engage in programs designed to prepare students to address complex regional, national, and global challenges related to sustainability and the ability to innovate in diverse cultural, geographic, and demographic contexts.
Boasting an 11-acre waterfront location on the USF St. Petersburg campus, the College of Marine Science is a global leader in applying science to society’s needs through research, service, and training of future scientists. The College is recognized among the nation's top oceanographic institutions and offers programs annually to nearly 100 master’s and PhD students.
With a presence on all three campuses, the mission of the Judy Genshaft Honors College is to provide transformative educational opportunities that will prepare highly motivated, intellectually curious, service-oriented, and academically accomplished students to become active and engaged thought leaders of the twenty-first century. While not a degree-granting college, Honors students receive the benefits of early registration, travel scholarships, and small interdisciplinary classes, among other opportunities. The current enrollment of the college is approximately 2,400.
The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine is a major academic medical center known nationally for its innovative curriculum with an emphasis on improving health through interprofessional education, high-impact research, and clinical activities. Approximately 1,700 students are enrolled in programs at USF’s Tampa campus and South Tampa instructional site. Tampa General Hospital (TGH) is the primary teaching hospital for the Morsani College of Medicine, and in July 2020, USF and TGH began an enhanced affiliation, launching a new framework for providing advanced care to the region’s patients and their families.
The USF Health College of Nursing engages the core values of excellence, innovation, inclusion, and respect to educate future nurses, advance nursing science, and implement evidence-based clinical practice to improve health and wellness. The College offers programs at USF’s Tampa and Sarasota-Manatee campuses and enrolls around 2,000 students.
The USF Health Taneja College of Pharmacy is a pacesetter in pharmacy curriculum and experience. Through interprofessional and simulation resources, students are prepared to deliver technologically advanced pharmaceutical care. Offering programs to more than 400 graduate students at the Tampa campus, the Taneja College of Pharmacy is Florida’s first public, comprehensive college of pharmacy in a metropolitan area.
The USF Health College of Public Health offers master’s and doctoral degrees as well as Florida's first bachelor's degree in public health. The College serves more than 4,000 students, and its curriculum features cooperative learning, research, problem-solving and field experience to advance and improve public health.
The USF Libraries are collectively at the heart of the University’s research and teaching mission. At the core level, their collective role is to provide access to high-quality research collections, to deliver innovative and impactful support for transdisciplinary research, and to provide access to exceptional research tools and facilities. In addition to library facilities on each campus, USF Health Libraries, located in Tampa, serve the needs of USF Health.
USF Health is an integral part of the University of South Florida and includes the Morsani College of Medicine, College of Nursing, Taneja College of Pharmacy, College of Public Health, and School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences. Together, through talent and innovation, USF Health is integrating patient care, education, and research to a shared value: making life better.
The primary teaching hospital for the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine is Tampa General Hospital, which was recently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the number one hospital in Tampa Bay. Tampa General is also listed among the top four hospitals in Florida and ranked as one of the nation’s top 50 hospitals in five medical specialties. In July 2020, USF and Tampa General Hospital began an enhanced affiliation, a significant milestone that further solidified one of the largest academic medical centers in Florida and built upon their longstanding relationship and commitment to improving health care in Tampa Bay. The agreement has enabled the two organizations to partner more quickly and broadly on a variety of strategic goals, and it has aligned administrative and clinical practice areas into a new organization, USF Tampa General Physicians.
USF World leads the university's involvement in the international arena and is committed to comprehensive and sustainable globalization that prioritizes innovation through research and scholarship, mutually beneficial international partnerships, inbound and outbound student and faculty global mobility, and events and programs that bridge geographical, cultural, and political boundaries. USF has established itself as a leader among higher education institutions in access to global learning opportunities for all students, the global diversity of its study body, and international research partnerships that produce positive societal outcomes.
Research is at the center of the student and faculty experience at the University of South Florida. A true research powerhouse, USF was awarded $558.2 million in research contracts and grants in fiscal year 2021, with $405 million in total research expenditures. USF charges into uncharted terrain, conducting meaningful research that resonates in the local community and throughout the world. The USF Research Park in Tampa is home to a network of innovation-based companies, government resources and business development tools and is poised to maximize the university’s impact in the Tampa Bay community. Additionally, USF is one of only three Preeminent State Research Universities, a designation awarded by the Florida Board of Governors. The Preeminence program recognizes high-achieving universities based on 12 metrics, including graduation rates, student retention rates, research expenditures, and the number of patents awarded. Of the 12 public universities in the State of Florida, only three are located in metropolitan settings, and only one —the University of South Florida—is also designated as preeminent by the Board of Governors of the State University System.
FACULTY AND STAFF
The University of South Florida’s more than 4,000 faculty are internationally respected researchers and scholars. USF faculty collaborate between departments, colleges, and schools and enjoy a history of substantive partnerships in the community. Faculty are also known for their commitment to teaching and student success, forming long-lasting mentoring relationships with students. The faculty in most USF colleges are represented in collective bargaining agreements by the United Faculty of Florida Union (UFF). Additionally, the Faculty Senate is the primary faculty advisory body to the President, Provost, and Senior Vice President for Health on all matters that pertain to the academic climate of the University. The Senate has the responsibility to review and make recommendations to University leadership considering decisions on all matters pertaining to the welfare of the University, focusing particularly on those pertaining to the academic mission.
A staff of more than 6,400 are a driving force behind the success of USF and push the institution and community to improve each day. Representing all departments on all campuses, the mission of the Staff Senate is to provide an avenue for effective communication between staff, the President, Provost, and senior leadership. The Senate is dedicated to promoting a spirit of unity, increasing staff morale and student success by building communication, trust, and integrity within the university community.
The Administrative Advisory Council (AAC) represents all administration and professional employees, of which there are approximately 3,100. The AAC considers and makes recommendations to the appropriate authorities on matters of interest to the University community.
USF is a national leader in student success, with a university-wide belief that every student admitted to the University will succeed given the opportunity to do so. Student Success at the University of South Florida is focused on supporting students as they enter the admissions queue, take their first steps on campus, navigate their options, and, finally, cross the stage to receive a hard-earned diploma. USF’s work not only supports students with their academics but also enhances their education so they graduate with skills, experiences, and other knowledge to help them achieve their life goals and ready themselves for their career, no matter the industry or sector. Thanks to the hard work of units across the university, for the 2021-2022 academic year, USF’s:
- First-year retention rate is 90%
- Six-year graduation rate is 74%
- Four-year graduation rate is 63%
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
USF affirms the value of diversity, individual dignity, equity, and common humanity. Diversity of lived experiences, thought, and values enriches lives and the whole university community. USF seeks the intentional inclusion of the broadest possible range of these perspectives essential to a university with local, state, national, and global impact.
Approximately 40 percent of full-time USF students identify as non-white: 20 percent as Hispanic, seven percent as Asian American, and nine percent as African American. In recent years, USF has received national recognition for eliminating the graduation gap by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, a rare achievement in higher education. Approximately 35 percent of USF students are eligible for federal financial aid through Pell Grants and the University has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating underrepresented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher-income students, including recognition from the Education Trust of USF as the number one public university (and fourth among all U.S. universities) for eliminating the completion gap between Latino and white students. This accomplishment was fueled by the use of data analytics to eliminate the graduation rate gap between race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status and by improving retention rates.
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is responsible for planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating comprehensive institutional diversity program and university-wide, multi-faceted inclusion and diversity initiatives to support the University's commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and equal opportunity. An anti-racism website serves as a collective resource and information warehouse for content related to USF’s commitment to anti-racism. Highlights include opportunities for community involvement, training resources for faculty and staff, and tools and links for students to find courses related to anti-racism. Additionally, the Diversity, Anti-Racism and Equity (DARE) Dashboards, developed in partnership with the Office of Decision Support, reflect USF’s commitment to cultivate more inclusive and anti-racist campuses.
LIVING IN THE TAMPA BAY REGION
The Tampa Bay region has transformed from a well-kept regional secret to one of the fastest growing global cities, attracting Fortune 500 companies including Raymond James Financial, Bristol Meyer Squibb, Citi, Jabil, WellCare, and JPMorgan Chase—as well as a growing number of tech companies that cite USF as a key reason for their recent relocation to Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay is now one of the top 20 metropolitan areas in the U.S., within the nation’s third most populous state. Tampa is home to: the largest and most diversified port in Florida at Port Tampa Bay, one of the highest-ranked airports in the country at Tampa International Airport, and U.S. military bases at MacDill Air Force Base, which houses both U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command.
Dubbed “Champa Bay,” the Bay Area is home to NFL Champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NHL Champions Tampa Bay Lightning, and American League Champions Tampa Bay Rays. A thriving arts and cultural scene, close to 200 parks, beaches, and other recreational facilities, more than 300 miles of trails, beautiful sunsets, and tropical weather make the Tampa region a desirable place to call home.
It is no coincidence that Tampa Bay’s growth has happened in parallel with that of the region’s only R1 public research university—the University of South Florida.
Position Description: Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs