Transcript: Winter 2012 President's Report: A Video Message for the USF Community

Hello – I’m Judy Genshaft, President of the University of South Florida.


I hope you are enjoying the holiday season and this special time with family and friends.


At USF, we have many accomplishments to celebrate – both individually and collectively as we close out an incredible Fall semester.


I love this time of year because I get to spend a great deal of it with students and their families at commencement.


At USF, we read the name of every student who walks across our stage - that’s unusual for a large university.


But we do it for one very good reason – every student matters.


Being dedicated to student success means we want every student who enrolls in USF to graduate and to make the most of their education in whatever path they pursue.


We celebrate our students’ hard work and achievement, and we remain focused on producing new graduates ready to compete in a global job market or pursue advanced degrees.


We know how important that is to our students, their families – and really to the entire state of Florida - that we have a highly-educated workforce.


To do that we need to balance access to a high-quality education with affordability.


In recent days, you’ve seen me standing with my fellow Florida state university presidents in advocating for greater investment in our students. You will hear that message again in coming months.


We know strong universities can change people’s lives. Great teaching makes all the difference.


That’s why we are so proud of Mechanical Engineering Professor Autar Kaw, who just last month was awarded the nation’s highest honor in undergraduate teaching.


 He was named one of  four the Carnegie/CASE 2012 Professors of the Year in recognition  of his pioneering use of technology and social media to teach foundational mathematics in engineering.


His creative and effective instruction has helped produce a new generation of highly-skilled engineers now working around the world.


That’s the kind of innovative approach to providing education you will find at a great public research university focused on student success.


This fall, I was invited to be a panelist in an incredible conference exploring the future of undergraduate education at public universities in this time of change.


As I sat with the presidents of some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, it was very clear that our institutions have to find new ways of delivering a high-quality education while controlling costs.


Learning, discovery and engagement are essential components of preparing students for the 21st Century economy.


They will be expected to have high-level critical thinking skills, advanced writing skills and a more global perspective than ever before.


A USF graduate is curious, inventive and industrious.  And we believe when they graduate, our students have the skills they need to meet new challenges.


And just like that moment our students cross the stage, we are excited and ready to meet the challenges ahead.


From our USF family to yours,  our warmest wishes for a joyful holiday season and a happy New Year!