About This Plan

The University of South Florida (USF) has emerged as the nation’s fastest-rising university over the past decade, a reflection of our unwavering pursuit of excellence for the betterment of our students, research, and the communities we serve.

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. As a research university situated in the heart of a growing metropolis, USF is an engine of social and economic prosperity. USF brings perspective in times of conflict and hope in the face of uncertainties, creating new knowledge, addressing grand challenges, advancing our way of life, and striving to create a culture that is not only innovative and creative but compassionate and resilient. By harnessing the power of knowledge and talent, as we listen closely to the needs of our communities, we design tools to optimize human performance and improve how we live, work, travel, think, and play.

Great cities nurture great universities and vice versa. That is also true of the Tampa Bay region and USF. Tampa Bay is a growing metropolis and cosmopolitan region. Its demographics and geographic location provide an opportunity to cultivate a thriving and equity-minded ecosystem that leverages USF as an anchor institution. Indeed, USF’s core mission is in direct service of its communities, and in addressing regional and national challenges.

Propelled by the consolidation of our three campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota-Manatee, and our academic assets, USF is uniquely poised to strengthen the Tampa Bay region as a catalyst for regional economic and social growth while maintaining robust national and international impact. USF’s aspirations toward becoming a Top-25 public research university and eligible for membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) are milestones in our pursuit of institutional excellence propelling USF and our vibrant and diverse communities toward a collectively bright future.

Evidence of Success

USF’s Strategic Plan provides a blueprint for the continuation of USF’s ascent in national and global visibility and the strengthening of our regional, national, and global communities over the next five years. The success of this plan will be evident in the following ways:

  • Access, success, and social mobility for a diverse and talented student body – fueling a pipeline of world-class talent for Florida’s employers, and beyond,
  • Reputation for excellence in research and innovation – solving consequential global problems and addressing Florida’s most significant challenges,
  • A top-tier public metropolitan research university linked in a mutually beneficial partnership with our communities, public service organizations, businesses, and industry – promoting lifelong learning and strengthening Florida’s goal of being a Top-10 global economy by 2030,
  • A destination of choice and a collaborative community of diverse and talented faculty, staff, and students – promoting access and professional growth in a dynamic workplace and learning environment,
  • A financially resilient organization with diversified resources – driving the strategic institutional mission through streamlined planning, processes, and digitalization.

This Strategic Plan is designed to provide a clear roadmap to further our institutional ascent over the next five years while establishing a framework to operationalize objectives to meet our institutional goals.

The identification of measures of success with more granular metrics aligns the objectives with institutional accountability plans and aspirations. In concert, the goals and associated objectives in the Strategic Plan reflect USF’s commitment to the success of our students, alumni, and staff; the excellence of our faculty research and innovation; the impact of our partnerships – locally and across the globe; the strength of our diverse and inclusive community at USF; and the sustainability of our adaptable financial base.

The seven Strategic Areas of Focus identified in the Strategic Plan reflect current institutional areas of academic and interdisciplinary excellence. These areas will be evaluated periodically to continually sustain our competitive advantage in higher education’s fast-paced and fluid landscape.

Implementation of the Strategic Plan requires specific strategies and tactics to guide USF’s future trajectory of excellence. With this blueprint, USF will empower deans and academic and administrative leaders to develop and operationalize unit-based strategic plans and priorities. Such plans will align with our mission, vision, and goals and provide actionable pathways to pursue our objectives. The Strategic Plan is designed to be inclusive of faculty, staff, and students across our three campuses for USF to achieve its strategic mission. To realize our aspirations, USF must be fueled by even more vigorous support from alumni, business and community partners, philanthropists, and government leaders.

Click here to learn more about the planning process.