Student Success and Innovation


In her Fall Address, President Genshaft said USF will continue its laser focus on student success initiatives, innovation and research.



From USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 19, 2012) – University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft Wednesday affirmed USF’s commitment to global research, public-private partnerships and its primary, strategic initiative to ensure success for the more than 47,000 students who call USF home.


In her annual Fall Address from the Oval Theatre at the Marshall Student Center, Genshaft announced that USF, for the first time, has surpassed the $400 million mark for research earnings, hitting more than $411 million in total research awards and contracts in the 2011-2012 academic year.


Watch the USF 2012 Showcase Video




Also, she announced a new partnership between USF Health and Lakeland Regional Medical Center that will create up to 250 new residency positions at Lakeland Regional. The alliance is part of a new initiative of Dr. Stephen Klasko, senior vice president of USF Health, to enhance collaboration between hospitals and the university, called the USF Health System.


In addition, Genshaft noted that USF is one of seven universities to receive a $1 million federal grant to support new web and mobile ventures, potentially resulting in the launch of new companies and the creation of hundreds of new jobs in the Tampa Bay region.


“You often hear that Florida says it’s open for business,” Genshaft said to a full house at the Oval Theatre and to online viewers watching streaming video of the speech. “Well, what I say is USF is open for innovation!”


Genshaft recited a number of USF’s accomplishments during that past year, and focused on several initiatives that will position the university for the future, including a new strategic plan that is currently being developed and will place new emphasis on student success.


Among the accomplishments:


- USF is ranked in the top 50 for universities nationwide, both public and private, for research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation.


- USF is among the top 10 universities in the world for the number of U.S. Patents issued. Genshaft will talk about the USF model of entrepreneurship, invention and its National Academy of Inventors at an October conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce.


- USF is committed to educating and assisting returning veterans, with more than 2,100 veterans enrolled. USF was recently ranked the 5th most friendly university for veterans.


- USF was ranked the 12th “coolest university” in the nation by Sierra Magazine, highlighting the university’s work around sustainability and solving global issues about potable water and urban living.


In her opening remarks, Genshaft referred to USF as the “American Dream University,” a place that is a microcosm of America and a place that can change lives.


“We are the university of hard working students challenged by financial realities, and of first generation students pursuing the aspirations of their families. We are the university that provides creative opportunities for the best and the brightest,” she said.


“And we are the university of scientists and scholars solving real problems for the entire globe. That means we do indeed change lives.”


The new strategic plan, which goes into effect next year, will continue to measure USF and hold it accountable as a “global research university dedicated to student success.” Community engagement and partnerships are keys to continued success, Genshaft said, enhanced by student internships, practicums and cooperatives.


As national debate continues about the state of higher education, Genshaft said, she sees USF as the model to be followed by others, whether it involves STEM programs, technology or online learning.


“The USF model blends knowledge with engaged learning,” Genshaft said. “A USF degree means that our business students are understanding sustainability. Our engineering students are learning entrepreneurship. Our literature students are mastering critical thinking. Our arts students are graduating with skills like visual literacy. Our medical students are learning teamwork as well as empathy.


“This is what our students love about USF,” Genshaft said. “It’s a place to create yourself. And it’s a place where you can connect with the world.”