USF campuses officially consolidate

Under a consolidated institution, the main campus will be located in Tampa while St. Pete and Sarasota-Manatee will become branch campuses. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

After years of planning and execution, the day USF consolidates its three campuses — Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee — and becomes “one university geographically distributed” has finally arrived.

Starting July 1, the university will be officially operating under a single institutional accreditation from USF’s accrediting body, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

“This is a historic day for the University of South Florida,” USF President Steven Currall said in a press release June 30. “We have an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen our position as one of the nation’s premier research universities and a leader in student success.”

As a result of consolidation, the university will adopt a single rate of tuition and fees for all USF students, regardless of their home campus, effective in the fall semester. The change in rates will be applied to all students enrolled at USF in or after summer 2020.

Students enrolled at USF prior to summer 2020 will continue to pay tuition and fee rates that were originally set for the campus they were originally admitted to until they graduate.

That condition, however, will only be applied so long as the student maintains uninterrupted active enrollment and graduates no later than December 2023.

Under consolidation, all students are required to have equal access to all services provided by the university. This means that students will have the chance to explore many of the resources available across all campuses, including the options to take classes and attend events at different campuses.

Student services, including academic advising and career services, will be delivered locally on all branch campuses following consolidation. Other local services include campus-based and college-based academic advising and counseling for students, local support for research and mental health counseling.

Under consolidation, the student code of conduct as well as grievances process will be applied across the system. A recent update on the student code of conduct — aligning with state hazing laws — will also be applied to all three campuses.

Academic integrity regulations will also be applied to all campuses. This includes the latest revision, which requires that academic integrity reports be filed by faculty using a survey within Canvas, which would then be evaluated by the Office of Undergraduate Studies. Grade changes following these reports will also be processed virtually by the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

In regard to campuswide events, including Homecoming, USF Week and the University Lecture Series, all students will be able to attend events held across all three campuses. While Tampa’s Center for Student Involvement (CSI) won’t consolidate, the department will still collaborate with the other campuses for campuswide events.

In the next few months, the university will have to submit a self-study report to SACSCOC documenting compliance.

In addition, the SACSCOC committee will schedule a site visit on Jan. 25-28, 2021. The visit will include all three campuses as well as the Morsani College of Medicine in downtown Tampa. 

During the visit, the committee will analyze whether the university is in compliance with SACSCOC requirements for consolidation.