To Members of the University of South Florida System Community
In the last week, our students, faculty and staff across the USF System have been watching the protests at various college and university campuses nationwide regarding race and equality. These events have caused us to reflect on our own experiences and values. Proudly, the USF System is one of the nation’s most diverse higher education systems, and our inclusiveness is one of our greatest strengths.
College and university campuses have a special role in society as the very place where the ideals of equality, inclusion, acceptance and free discourse are encouraged to thrive. Progress in reaching these ideals is something we all should strive to achieve each and every day.
In light of these events, I believe it is important to reiterate that the USF System aims to be an environment in which everyone feels welcomed, valued, respected and appreciated. Across the USF System, the diversity of our students, faculty and staff promotes more effective teaching and research, produces greater learning outcomes, and better prepares all students for an increasingly diverse workforce and pluralistic society. Our goal is to maintain an atmosphere of respect, compassion, understanding and the willingness to learn from one another. It is our privilege to be a public university and serve as a positive example for our wider Tampa Bay region community.
Students, faculty or staff members who have concerns about the campus environment are encouraged to contact the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity. For students, there are additional avenues for assistance at the office of the Dean of Students at USF Tampa and at USF St. Petersburg, and at the USF Sarasota-Manatee Diversity Office. We have a team of caring professionals dedicated to building strong and unified communities on all three institutions of the USF System. Our institutional ideals and values also are embedded in our student Commitment to Honor.
I am proud of the USF System. It is important that we continue to have open lines of communication and continue to work productively with a positive and optimistic spirit to address our differences and collective responsibilities while celebrating all that brings us together.
USF System President