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What USF could look like post-consolidation

Huron, a third-party company working to aid in the consolidation process, presented a proposal that would separate each college within the university system. ORACLE PHOTO/CHAVELI GUZMAN

With a system-wide consolidation on the horizon, a task force to develop a plan for what USF will look like post-consolidation has partnered with a third-party company to produce proposed blueprints.

Among the proposals is a structure presented by Huron — the company working to aid in the consolidation process — that separates each college within the university system in USF’s Tampa, St. Pete and Sarasota-Manatee campuses.

The proposal to go about this, without hindering programs available to students at each campus, is to first distinguish between a college and a school.

According to the presentation given to the task force by Huron at a meeting last week, a college has a dean, faculty members, academic programs and an academic home location. As a result of state accreditation mandate, there can only be one college per field of study. This means that a college can have multiple schools within it, on a single campus or any of the three.

An example of this in the proposed structure is the Muma College of Business.

In the proposal, the college will be on the Tampa campus, however, schools within it, such as the School of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership, will be based out of the Sarasota-Manatee campus.

According to the presentation by Huron, the students in the school at Sarasota-Manatee will have equal access to the programs and courses offered, even though the Muma College of Business itself will be hosted on the Tampa campus.

In a call with his fellow task force members Wednesday afternoon, Michael Griffin, a former two-term student body president, said that the goal of the proposal on the structure and distribution of the colleges among the campuses was to get as much feedback as possible and with time for discussion before their Feb. 15 deadline approaches.

“It is preliminary in nature, but our goal was to get as much out to the public as possible and just as important, to do it as early as possible,” Griffin said.

Griffin also stressed that Huron divided up the college between each campus was by design as a result of data showing the number of faculty members on each campus.

In the proposed structure, the Tampa campus has 12 different colleges and equally as many schools. This is far more than the St. Pete campus — which has one college unique to its campus and four schools — and the Sarasota-Manatee campus — which lists no colleges unique to its campus and two different schools under the Muma College of Business.

One apparent change in the proposal is the elimination of the College of Arts and Sciences from all three campuses. Currently, the college is on both the Tampa and St. Pete campuses, however, should the proposal be approved, on the Tampa campus, the college would be split in two — the College of Humanities and Social Science and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. There will be no presence of Arts and Sciences on the St. Pete campus.

The Consolidation Task Force will next meet on Oct. 18 to further discuss the proposal, however, Griffin further stressed to his fellow task force members that nothing is finalized.

“I cannot stress it enough — this is just for discussion purposes,” Griffin said. “This is not set in stone.”