USF Announces Name of Newly Formed College

TAMPA, Fla. (Sept. 18, 2008) – The University of South Florida is pleased to announce the formation of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. The new college took shape in July as part of the university’s structural realignment of academic units to better reflect USF’s commitment to pursuing strategic priorities while strengthening the university’s academic organization for the future. The new name encompasses the full scope of the transformation.

The College of Behavioral and Community Sciences enrolls nearly 2,200 students and includes the Departments of Aging and Mental Health, Child and Family Studies, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Criminology, Mental Health Law and Policy, and Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling as well as the School of Aging Studies and School of Social Work. In addition, the college includes the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, a research, knowledge dissemination, and policy institute with a special focus on mental health and substance abuse.

Through teaching, research and engagement, the new college will focus on the development and implementation of innovative solutions to the complex problematic conditions that affect the behavior and well-being of individuals, populations and the communities in which they live.

“Bringing together the related disciplines represented in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences has created a larger critical mass of faculty for scholarly collaboration in research, teaching, and service,” said Ralph C. Wilcox, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “The college’s structure better positions its faculty, students, and staff to work together to achieve the university’s strategic goals of becoming a pre-eminent research university with state, national and global impact.”

The College of Behavioral and Community Sciences is focused on multidisciplinary collaborations, strong research continuum – with depth and breadth in areas from basic behavioral science to clinical and services interventions to community-partnered participatory approaches and policy analysis – and implementation of evidence-based and best practices within human service systems. In the short time since the college structure was formed, the faculty have already come together to identify many areas of collaboration and innovative processes and practices to share and own together, including knowledge management systems, integrative research and team teaching.

“I cannot think of a better single collective of impressive individual entities than in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences that is better positioned to prepare the next generation of academicians, service providers, policy makers, and other professionals to improve the quality of life, health, and safety of diverse populations and communities,” said Junius Gonzales, dean of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. “Everyone in the college is committed to merging rigor with relevance, in real time, for all pursuits – education, scholarship and service – in order to alleviate suffering and promote sustained strength and positive change in individuals, groups, communities, organizations and systems.”

The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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Story written by Jacqui Cash, Academic Affairs