Law’s goals for new academic year approved at BOT meeting

President Rhea Law’s goals, which she must present to the Board of Trustees for review and approval, included a focus on the design of the new on-campus stadium. ORACLE PHOTO

President Rhea Law presented her proposed goals for the 2023-24 academic year at Tuesday morning’s Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting. 

The goals, which must be provided for approval to the Governance Committee and BOT every contract year, were separated into four categories:

  • Academic and research excellence
  • Institutional growth
  • Organizational culture
  • Financial stability and transparency

As part of the academic and research excellence goals, Law mentioned a wish to maintain the university’s performance-based funding and preeminence metrics and reach the public Top 25 ranking of the U.S. News & World Report, according to the meeting’s agenda

Law also said she hopes to maximize the impact of the university’s new Association of American Universities (AAU) membership, which the university was invited to join on June 1. The AAU is an organization of higher education institutions composed of 71 research universities. 

AAU membership is granted by invitations only and was one of USF’s goals in their 2022-2027 strategic plan. Now that USF has joined the AAU, Law said she wants to maximize its benefits by attending AAU events and conferences and engaging with other AAU institutions. 

The institutional growth objective focused on many of the university’s current construction and expansion initiatives, such as the on-campus stadium at the Tampa campus, the new St. Pete Environmental and Oceanographic Sciences building and the student center and residence hall complex at the Sarasota-Manatee campus. These projects were also listed in Law’s goals from the previous academic year under the focus of “in pursuit of excellence.” 

For her 2022-23 goals, Law listed five additional areas of focus:

  • Academic excellence and student success
  • Great place to work
  • Research
  • Budget model
  • Legislative support, fundraising and commercialization

This year’s goals also included talent recruitment and retention, maximizing opportunities for the consolidation of all three campuses and finalizing recommendations on monetization or securitization of USF assets, according to the agenda.

Directors named for new USF athletic association

Taking its next steps in the formation of the USF Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the BOT also approved a board of directors for the direct-support organization (DSO). The association, which was certified by the BOT on June 13, was created to help support the operations of the on-campus stadium.  

BOT Chair Will Weatherford appointed Richard Sobieray, who currently serves as the chief financial officer of the university, as director. As president, Law has also chosen to serve as a director. 

She also recommended Provost Prasant Mohapatra and USF Foundation CEO Jay Stroman to serve as directors.