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New goals to help guide USF budget after cuts

With USF facing a $20-million budget cut, the Board of Trustees Thursday approved their revision to the Values, Vision, Mission and Goals plan to help give it guidance. A task force revised the plan to set goals and missions for USF as a research university.

President Judy Genshaft said the budget and missions will be used together to allocate funds and make goals clear. Genshaft said the budget cuts will not be across-the-board, but some electives at USF may be cut because the university will not be able to afford them.

“We need to focus on majors and what is necessary for students to take to graduate,” Genshaft said. “We will still have a summer session, but it will not be as full as the past.”

Genshaft said the positive news about the budget cuts was the legislator gave USF the authority to keep all the collected tuition from this year which was about $6 million.

“It is important for USF to keep the money earned from tuition,” Genshaft said. “We needed that $6 million desperately.”Genshaft said there is a chance USF may receive $1.8 million back from the state, but Gov. Jeb Bush still has the authority to veto it.

Genshaft said private dollars can be raised, but those funds go toward scholarships and athletic complexes and can’t be used for instructional programs.

Genshaft said the BOT began preparing for the budget cuts at the start of the fall semester and asked departments to look at their strengths and features and give that information to the BOT.

“We made a commitment at the beginning of the semester,” Genshaft said. “You have to plan ahead.”

BOT chairman Richard Beard said the Values, Vision, Mission and Goals plan is a great beginning to work on the goals for USF, and experts can be brought in if BOT needs assistance.

“As we live with (the plan), we will find things to change over time,” Beard said. “We need to make this all fit together and give everyone their goals.”

Beard said the next challenge for the BOT is to put goals together for the next five years.

Some of the goals for this year’s plan include strengthening research and improving undergraduate and graduate academics.Genshaft said she wanted to make sure the 36-member task force represented everyone during the revision process. Some members of the task force include representatives from health sciences, student affairs and athletics.

“We received feedback from the university and the community,” Genshaft said. “Then we analyzed (the plan) until we revised a draft based on that feedback.”

  • Contact Grace Agostinat