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Genshaft: We are unstoppable

To a room full of faculty and staff in the Marshall Student Center’s Oval Theater on Wednesday afternoon, USF President Judy Genshaft delivered her fall address where she called for university progress and looked as far ahead as 2020.

Genshaft said she wants to see progress within the next 10 years, but she will need the help of faculty and students to make her desire a reality.

“As we look at the future for our strategic plan in our performance measures, the key element will be the same: to be relevant, to be engaged and to be involved,” she said. “We all – you all – have done so well.”

Genshaft extended an invitation for faculty and students to form innovative ideas to make the University more involved in the Tampa community.

“New technology – cutting edge technology – will remove geographic boundaries,” Genshaft said. “It will bring tomorrow’s ideas to life today.”

In the spirit of new technology, the address was streamed live for the first time on the USF Facebook page and garnered 122 viewers. It was also webcasted on the main USF website.

Genshaft also said she hopes to improve the University’s academics.

This year, administrators created a Student Success Taskforce to identify areas that impede student graduation rates and academic health.

Now, USF is ranked No. 111 among the world’s 5,000 universities in the number of academic “citations,” Genshaft said.

July marked her 10th year as USF president, and she reflected on her first decade.

“(Our) first strategic plan was to become a … research university,” Genshaft said during her speech. “That was our GPS.”

That plan was fulfilled; USF is one of three Florida public research universities, according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

“Every time someone said we couldn’t do something, we did it, and we did it well,” she said.

Dorie Paine, director of Housing and Residential Education, said Genshaft’s address was inspiring.

“It’s always very inspiring to see where we stand and where we are going – the idea of a place that is innovative and moving forward despite anything that prohibits that (we can still) … grow.”

Genshaft said that with the number of changes at the University over the past decade, she hopes to see even more in the next few years.

“Clearly,” she said, “we are unstoppable.”