Planning Process

The strategic planning process was a collaborative effort involving stakeholders from all three campuses and leveraged various planning documents and activities developed over the past few years. The process included an intentional outreach effort seeking input from the many constituents within the university and communities throughout the region served.

In addition, the following sources were critical to informing the Strategic Plan’s focus on the continuation of our path In Pursuit of Excellence:

  1. The 2025 State University System Strategic Plan, as approved by the Board of Governors in October 2019, focuses on three points of emphasis for the State University System 2025 Goals—Excellence, Productivity, and Strategic Priorities for a Knowledge Economy—and recognizes the universities’ teaching, research, and public service priorities.
  2. USF 2017-18 strategic plan discussions which set us on the path of examining our sources of sustainable competitive differentiation, opportunities, and strategic priorities.
  3. USF’s current mission statement and goals, each of which involved many hours of engagement and consensus-building across our campuses and represented the core of the strategic plan.
  4. The consolidation of our campuses resulted in the USF community collectively defining what it means to be a singularly accredited university.
  5. SACSCOC accreditation requirements in support of our consolidated university, which gave clear direction for USF to operate.
  6. USF’s 2021 Accountability Plan, approved by both the USF Board of Trustees and the Florida Board of Governors, set clear operational targets and goals.

The inclusion of these various initiatives, and significant collaborations with stakeholders, resulted in the development of USF’s five goals. These goals embodied USF’s mission and strategic direction.

In December 2020, The USF Strategic Planning Advisory Task Force was appointed to develop a formal vision and strategy statements, articulate a list of the university core commitments, and assess USF’s existing strengths and current gaps relative to our aspirations. The Task Force, largely comprised of faculty, held various stakeholder meetings, virtual town hall forums, interviews, and surveys.

Taken together, the sessions with university and community stakeholders and written comments from faculty, students, staff, and other friends of the university yielded a wealth of detailed observations and suggestions—ultimately shaping USF’s vision, the areas of strategic focus, and university core commitments.

Further work to operationalize the goals, incorporate objectives and measurable outcomes, with reference to the core commitments, was conducted by a Strategic Plan Steering Committee appointed by President Law on September 7, 2021.

Upon completing the first draft of objectives and measurable outcomes, the Strategic Plan Steering Committee engaged with stakeholder groups including the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Administrative Advisory Council, Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate and Professional Student Government, Deans, Department Chairs, and Alumni. The Strategic Plan Steering Committee also held meetings with the USF Foundation Board, USF Greek Alumni, the University Board of Trustees, and a USF-wide Town Hall assembly to provide a public forum for meaningful discussion and feedback. Beyond meeting with internal stakeholders, the Steering Committee also sought input from members of the broader Tampa Bay community to gather public feedback.

As part of the outreach process, the Strategic Plan Steering Committee constructed a survey soliciting feedback and input on the relative importance of the objectives identified for each goal. The results of the survey indicated broad-based and enthusiastic support of the identified objectives. In addition, the feedback provided across these forums facilitated a dynamic process ensuring the objectives and measures of success represented the entire university’s strategic aims and aspirations and the needs of our communities.