USF will need to consolidate its three campuses — Tampa, St. Pete and Sarasota-Manatee — into a single accredited university by July 1. However, there is a more imminent deadline approaching.
USF is required to complete a 25-page document detailing its plans for consolidation to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission (SACSCOC) no later than March 15.
The comprehensive self-study document will need to include updates on changes to the university including the multicampus governance structure, full-time faculty responsibilities, admission policies and Student Success services.
Provost Ralph Wilcox presented a consolidation update Tuesday morning to the Board of Trustees in which he discussed the results of the two “Academic and Student Success Implementation Sessions” that were organized.
The events held Jan. 9 and Jan. 16 were provided to receive additional feedback from administration, faculty, staff and students as well as help transition from the planning to the implementation period.
“During the meetings, we focused on guiding documentation and processes,” Wilcox said. “Following that session, we made some refinements and we will continue to make refinements.”
Between the two sessions, the group discussed a variety of initiatives and how to effectively consolidate those programs. Some of the topics included graduate studies, USF Libraries, USF World, student elections, tuition and fees, academic advising and mental health counseling.
For example, a governance committee, comprised of members from each campus, will eventually be created to oversee the allocation of student fees to ensure that students are not paying for services not available at their home campus.
College governance documents will need to be submitted to the provost’s office no later than Feb. 28 to finalize the multicampus college structure.
The multicampus colleges include Arts and Sciences, Arts, Behavioral and Community Sciences, Education, Judy Genshaft Honors College, Muma College of Business, Nursing and Public Health, according to the Academics and Campus Environment Committee agenda.
“Our multicampus college deans are the CEOs of the colleges so they are the ones who are going to effectively deploy limited resources to meet the needs of the community we serve,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox said the multicampus academic leadership will be mandating the changes ahead.
In the future, he said he would like to conduct bimonthly meetings with college deans and regional chancellors to provide “more structure” in the consolidation process.
“This is the most difficult period in the transition because we are still represented by three different accredited institutions,” Wilcox said. “But that reality is shrinking and the window is closing rapidly.”