(June 30, 2020) – The University of South Florida will officially begin operating under a single accreditation for the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses on Wednesday, July 1. Consolidating from three separately accredited institutions is a requirement of a Florida law passed in 2018 and amended in 2019. USF's plan to consolidate received approval earlier this month from the executive council of the regional accrediting agency that oversees higher education in the southern United States, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Consolidation provides a wide range of new opportunities for students and faculty and ensures that every student has an opportunity to earn their degree from a Preeminent State Research University.
"This is a historic day for the University of South Florida. We have an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen our position as one of the nation's premier research universities and a leader in student success," USF President Steven Currall said. "I am excited about our future as we work together to become a top-25 public university and position ourselves for future eligibility in the prestigious Association of American Universities."
USF will now be able to offer additional majors, scholarships, support services and study abroad opportunities to students on any campus, as well as expanded access to student organizations and intramural or club sports teams. Faculty on each campus will experience new opportunities for interdisciplinary research collaborations and access to more community partnerships.
"Consolidation opens up many opportunities for USF students. Now they will have access to academic programs and student support services across all three campuses," USF St. Petersburg Campus Regional Chancellor Martin Tadlock said. "We'll also be working together across USF to create geographically distributed centers of research excellence in important areas such as oceanographic and environmental sciences and STEM education."
USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus Regional Chancellor Karen Holbrook says tangible benefits from consolidation can already be seen with the expedited launch of a nursing program earlier this year to help meet an urgent workforce need in the local community. She says discussions with college deans and her campus leadership team are ongoing regarding new programs for students in Sarasota-Manatee in the arts, allied health, public administration and engineering.
"Consolidation will strengthen USF's impact, not only for our students, but also for communities and businesses in the Sarasota-Manatee region. We see a very bright future together as one USF," Holbrook said.
USF's final consolidation plan is the result of significant contributions from students, faculty, staff, community members, legislators and other stakeholder groups, as well as input gathered through town hall forums, public meetings and other opportunities.
More information about USF's consolidation process is available here.
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report's national university rankings than USF. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, placing it in the most elite category among the state's 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher income students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at www.usf.edu.