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During Annual Fall Address Genshaft Announces New USF Research Record, Best Freshman Class in School History

Genshaft’s speech also highlights USF’s focus on achieving “Preeminent” status

TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 7, 2016) – The University of South Florida System set a new record for research during the 2015-16 academic year with $458,506,047 in grants and contracts, President Judy Genshaft announced on Wednesday during her annual fall address.

Genshaft also announced this year’s freshman class is the most academically accomplished ever enrolled at the university, with an average SAT score of 1226, an ACT score of 28 and an average GPA of 4.08. The Morsani College of Medicine also enrolled its largest class - more than 6,000 students competing for 183 spots - with the strongest academic profile in the college’s history. The first-year students averaged a record 34 on the MCAT exam, the highest of all Florida universities, public or private.

“The USF System has never been stronger,” Genshaft said. “Our achievements have not occurred by accident. We have worked deliberately to accomplish our goals over many years.”

Genshaft’s address focused on USF’s “Path to Preeminence,” an effort designed to enhance quality across all organizational levels, to move USF closer to being recognized as a “Preeminent” university in the State of Florida and to further position USF for membership in the Association of American Universities. In June, USF was designated as the first “Emerging Preeminent” university in Florida, providing an additional $5 million in state funding and strengthening the institution’s reputation. Genshaft has set a goal for USF to achieve full Preeminent status by 2018.

“Our graduates’ degrees will be worth more. We will have more resources to support students, faculty and staff. We’ll be able to enhance our campuses with the most state-of-the-art facilities. We’ll continue to attract and retain the very best,” Genshaft explained.

The speech, Genshaft’s 16th as president of USF, also noted the university’s fundraising campaign has now raised more than $939 million and is well on its way to its $1 billion goal.

“This is highly unusual for a public university founded only 60 years ago,” she said.

USF’s $458 million research totals are up from $440 million in the previous academic year. USF ranks in the top 25 public research universities in the U.S., according to the National Science Foundation. During the address, Genshaft highlighted a new USF Research Strategic Plan, which provides purposeful focus on key areas of distinctive excellence, such as brain and spinal cord research, data science and analytics, heart research and care, human security and water sustainability.

The University of South Florida System is a high-impact, global research system dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three institutions: USF; USF St. Petersburg; and USF Sarasota-Manatee. The institutions are separately accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. All institutions have distinct missions and their own detailed strategic plans. Serving over 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.

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