Representing USF in her newly appointed position to the Florida Board of Governors on Feb. 21, former Board of Trustees member Ann Duncan will now be part of the decision-making process for the state’s entire public university system.
“I think (Ann Duncan’s position with the BOG) will be positive,” Chairman of the BOT Dick Beard said. “It will give (USF) a voice, and that’s the big thing. It also puts someone on the Board of Governors who has actually served for four years in a BOT capacity, which is experience that is important to have because she knows the issues.”
Duncan graduated from USF in 1987 and works as the senior vice president for CLW Real Estate Services Group. She has also helped to form partnerships between USF and municipalities, community colleges and civic organizations.
“Ann Duncan is a dynamic individual,” said Karen White, regional chancellor of the USF St. Petersburg campus. “I see her as having a keen grasp of the institution and USF systemwide issues, and that is essential for a board member of a higher education board.”
According to Associate Vice President of Government Relations Jeff Muir, some of the important issues Duncan will face as a BOG member include strategic planning, where the board determines the direction and system for 11 of Florida’s public universities, the Performance Accountability Plan, which grades the performance of each university relative to the funds they receive, and the development of a legislative budget request, determining how much and what types of funding will be requested from the Legislature.
As far as tuition is concerned, USF is the 49th lowest-costing university in the country, Beard said, and funding is one of the most important issues for USF students.
“The value of your education is somewhat dependent on the value of the degree that you get from the college you go to,” Beard said. “So if we can make your degree more valuable, that means your education can be more valuable over time.”
USF President Judy Genshaft highlighted Duncan’s work for the BOT as one of her main achievements.
“We were very fortunate to have had Ann serve as a founding member of our Board of Trustees and inaugural chair of the USF St. Petersburg Campus,” Genshaft said. “Her many contributions have paved the way to move USF into the top 50 of public research universities in the next five years.”
Duncan’s main impact at USF has been on the St. Pete campus.
“I think the hallmark of her accomplishments has been the campus master plan for the St. Pete campus,” White said.
Construction for student housing has begun and building a parking garage is scheduled to take place later this month.
According to her biography, Duncan has also helped to recruit more than 60 faculty and 13 administrators to USF St. Pete.
Duncan’s perspective will not only come from one part of USF. According to Muir, she is very interested in the St. Pete campus, “but she is also an advocate for all of USF’s regional campuses as well.
“I think (Duncan’s new position) is very important for USF,” Muir said, “because the BOG makes many decisions that are critical to the University, and it’s important that we have someone representing USF who was not only a graduate, but also someone who worked on the BOT.”