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Letters to the Editor

Scholarship problems lead to program improvements

Re: “USF Foundation in need of better communication,” Aaron Hill, July 20

I would like to thank Aaron Hill for the interest and concern expressed in his column. There were indeed some unusual problems that caused unanticipated delays in the scholarship awarding cycle this year. The Scholarship Office appreciates the concern and recommendations suggested.

It is the intent of the office to make scholarship programs run as smoothly as possible, and its employees are always willing to explore and implement new ideas regarding the program. They are well aware of the problems that occurred this year and have already taken steps to improve the process.

Effective management of both privately funded and institutional scholarships are among the highest priorities of the University. The USF Foundation and the Provost’s Office have been working together closely over the last several years to ensure that University scholarship programs are managed in a way that provides the maximum support possible to eligible students. In addition, the USF Foundation has been diligent in its efforts to keep donors informed and to distribute scholarship dollars in accordance with donor intent.

To achieve these goals, the Foundation and the Provost’s Office have instituted regular reviews of Foundation scholarship funding with the various colleges and other University centers and offices. The intent is to make certain that scholarship dollars are being spent and managed in a timely and effective manner.

The USF Foundation provides annual reports to all endowed donors that show the financial status and an activity summary of their particular accounts. Many donors meet regularly with scholarship recipients through special events and at other occasions hosted by various awarding offices or the Foundation.

In fall 2005, the Provost’s Office organized a scholarship task force to review scholarship management. As a result, the USF Scholarship Office was created to further enhance scholarship management by working closely with Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid and the USF Foundation. After this transition took place the new office opened on July 5 and is located at SVC 1001.

The Scholarship Office is a joint effort of the USF Foundation and the Provost’s Office and is unique in the administrative structure of the University since it reports to two vice presidential areas. The discussions and subsequent working agreement regarding this new operation is testament to the importance the University attaches to scholarship management. Among the goals of the new office are establishing a central location and Web site for students to access scholarship information, managing scholarship resources in a way that maximizes scholarship support for the student community, and providing appropriate, meaningful and informative stewardship activity for donors.

Peter Fazio is the director for Advancement/Alumni Affairs.


USF needs to take hurricanes seriously

I hope this year, USF’s hurricane policy will be upgraded to a sensible level and be in harmony with other Tampa Bay hurricane preparations. In other words, USF should close whenever Hillsborough County government offices or Hillsborough County schools do. This information is easily accessible to everyone and is based on information seemingly unknown to USF, which last year got very lucky by not closing during a potential disaster, making any evacuation by compliant USF students and faculty an impossibility. The school dodged a bullet. Next time, it might not be so fortunate.

Furthermore, if USF President Genshaft insists on leaving the University open when other public schools in the area and the local government have shut down, faculty should not be told to refrain from giving tests or other important material on those days. Either class should meet or it shouldn’t. Period.

Marvin Karlins is a senior professor of management in the College of Business Administration.