The University of South Florida's 2013-2018 Strategic Plan builds on a tremendous era of achievement for our young institution, during which USF greatly expanded its national and international reputation as a creative, innovative, and successful center of higher learning and research. While the previous strategic plan guided the university through unprecedented financial challenges, this plan is designed to build on our defining strengths and core mission: providing a globally-competitive education to our students; creating partnerships that leverage our assets with other public institutions and the private sector; and advancing research, innovation, and sustainability.
This plan comes at a time when our nation and our world have come to accept a "new normal" for higher education, even as colleges and universities play an ever-increasing role in the world's economic future. More people will need advanced education to be successful, but America's higher education sector holds no illusion that the public resources lost during the Great Recession will recover to previous levels. The onus is now on institutions – especially those such as the University of South Florida, a public research university which serves a diverse population – to create new opportunities wherever the potential exists. The nation looks to its public research universities to reignite the economy and provide a workforce that is adaptable, entrepreneurial, and resilient.
In this document, you will see clearly that the University of South Florida envisions itself as a premier public research university with state, national, and global impact. We continue to measure our progress against the best institutions and position the university for membership in the Association of American Universities. We will distinguish USF as an inclusive environment that expands access for students from all walks of life, creating a learner-centered environment where every aspect of the university is committed to student success. Our dedicated faculty and staff have put USF on the leading edge of research in many disciplines that are critical to the future prosperity of our region, state, and nation, including health care, marine science, water resource management, veterans reintegration, and urban sustainability.
USF stands shoulder to shoulder with the best public and private institutions as a Top 50 research university, as a global leader in new U.S. patents, and as a leading producer of Fulbright Scholars.
As you review this document, bear in mind this is not a plan that exists on paper only. It is infused into our university's budgeting, hiring, and work production processes. As a university, we have come to respect the value of careful and deliberate planning as essential to moving forward in an era when setbacks and roadblocks are numerous and unpredictable. With a clear sense of our priorities, we look forward to meeting the challenges ahead and continuing to build a great university of the future.