Transforming a bold vision into a bullish achievement

Preeminence is the highest designation that a research university can earn from the State of Florida. Since the program became Florida Law in 2013, USF has had its sights firmly set on achieving Preeminence. While our journey to reach national excellence started long before then – and by no means will stop now – USF has finally reached all the thresholds necessary to achieve the designation. Naturally, we rose to meet this challenge, driven to always be better than we were the day before. But Preeminence isn’t the end of the story. This is just the beginning of a new era for USF and our community. The possibilities are endless.

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TOGETHER, WE REACH NEW HEIGHTS

This kind of success doesn’t go unnoticed. See what it means to those who fought hard to achieve it—our students, faculty, alumni and the whole Tampa Bay community.

Rachel Llewellyn

Rachel Llewellyn, Biomedical Engineering Student

Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award Recipient, College of Engineering Student Ambassador, USF Honors Council Member, STEM Academy Scholar, OB/GYN Lab Research Assistant

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It is truly exciting for USF to receive Preeminent status from the State of Florida but alumni will tell you that USF has long been Preeminent before today. Under President Genshaft’s leadership, the university is in the fast lane and there’s no limit to the success that the university will achieve.

Joie S. Chitwood III, MBA '95
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, International Speedway Corporation, 2014 USF Distinguished Alumnus

McWayne Weche

McWayne Weche, Biology '14, MD '18

General Surgery Resident with USF Department of Surgery

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USF is creating the ecosystem that flourishes innovation. And I think everyone wants to work together to try to make it happen. So, if you have an idea, this is the place to make it happen.

Shyam Mohapatra, PHD
USF Nanomedicine Research Center Professor, Florida Inventors Hall of Fame '14

Yvette Segura

Yvette Segura

Regional Vice President, USAA

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This city bleeds green and gold and we are going to succeed together. We’re going to put Tampa on the map as one of those places in America where the best and brightest want to be. And having USF, a Preeminent university, in our backyard is a huge part of that.

Bob Buckhorn
Mayor, City of Tampa (2011 - Present)

USF in the news

June 29th, 2018

Editorial: Celebrating USF’s preeminence

Tampa Bay Times

Years of persistent effort paid off Thursday as the University of South Florida won well-deserved recognition as one of the state’s preeminent universities.

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June 28th, 2018

University of South Florida joins University of Florida and Florida State University in 'preeminent' status

Florida Trend

During her introductory speech in 2000, University of South Florida System, President Judy Genshaft set a goal: get USF on the same level as the state's two flagship schools, the University of Florida and Florida State University.

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April 10th, 2018

How Developers Discovered Tampa’s ‘Best-Kept Secret’

New York Times

The University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute is one of many projects under development on and around the waterfront in Tampa.

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Our journey to preeminence

USF’s path to Preeminence may have been outlined in 2013, but our journey to greater heights of excellence began well before that.

2000 - PRESENT

DR. JUDY GENSHAFT becomes USF’s sixth PRESIDENT

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USF’s new president, Dr. Judy Genshaft, shares her vision of USF as a prominent national research university. In her inaugural address, she says: “We dream of being one of the Preeminent universities. To get there, it is our responsibility to constantly ask two questions of ourselves. First: In each of our programs, are we setting the national standard for others? Second: If not, what will it take for us to do so?”

Hear President Genshaft's Inspiring Vision for USF at Her Inauguration

USF’s new president, Dr. Judy Genshaft, shares her vision of USF as a prominent national research university. In her inaugural address, she says: “We dream of being one of the Preeminent universities. To get there, it is our responsibility to constantly ask two questions of ourselves. First: In each of our programs, are we setting the national standard for others? Second: If not, what will it take for us to do so?”

Hear President Genshaft's Inspiring Vision for USF at Her Inauguration

2009

student success task force formed

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In November 2009, USF System President Judy Genshaft and Provost and Executive Vice President Ralph Wilcox convene a 100-person Student Success Task Force to build upon and accelerate a campus-wide initiative to maximize student success without compromising USF's commitment to access and diversity. The Task Force's report, submitted in April 2010, provided the blueprint for the Student Success movement, which contributed to record gains in student retention retention and graduation rates.

Student Success Task Force

In November 2009, USF System President Judy Genshaft and Provost and Executive Vice President Ralph Wilcox convene a 100-person Student Success Task Force to build upon and accelerate a campus-wide initiative to maximize student success without compromising USF's commitment to access and diversity. The Task Force's report, submitted in April 2010, provided the blueprint for the Student Success movement, which contributed to record gains in student retention retention and graduation rates.

2013

preeminence signed into law

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On April 22, 2013, a bill to elevate the national stature of Florida’s public universities is signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. The new law confers Preeminent status to a university if it achieves at least 11 of 12 benchmarks, the state’s “academic and research excellence standards.”

On April 22, 2013, a bill to elevate the national stature of Florida’s public universities is signed into law by Governor Rick Scott. The new law confers Preeminent status to a university if it achieves at least 11 of 12 benchmarks, the state’s “academic and research excellence standards.”

2016

emerging preeminent status achieved

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Florida lawmakers amend the law, establishing a new designation of emerging Preeminent state research university for universities that meet at least 6 of the 12 Preeminence benchmarks. USF is designated the state’s first emerging Preeminent state research university by the Florida Board of Governors in June 2016, having met nine of the 12 Preeminence benchmarks. President Judy Genshaft sets the goal for USF to achieve full Preeminence in just two years, by 2018.

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Doctor Judy Genshaft speaking on a podium

Florida lawmakers amend the law, establishing a new designation of emerging Preeminent state research university for universities that meet at least 6 of the 12 Preeminence benchmarks. USF is designated the state’s first emerging Preeminent state research university by the Florida Board of Governors in June 2016, having met nine of the 12 Preeminence benchmarks. President Judy Genshaft sets the goal for USF to achieve full Preeminence in just two years, by 2018.

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2018

USF Reaches Preeminence

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On June 28, 2018, the Board of Governors of the State University System certify that USF has met the necessary thresholds and the board officially designates USF as the state’s third Preeminent state research university. It is a significant milestone in USF’s mission to deliver competitive undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, to generate knowledge, foster intellectual development, and ensure student success in a global environment.

USF Celebration

On June 28, 2018, the Board of Governors of the State University System certify that USF has met the necessary thresholds and the board officially designates USF as the state’s third Preeminent state research university. It is a significant milestone in USF’s mission to deliver competitive undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, to generate knowledge, foster intellectual development, and ensure student success in a global environment.

shattering the status quo

We hold ourselves to high standards, and we expect accountability and excellence. Now, the rest of the world is taking note. USF successfully reached 11 of 12 benchmarks set by the Florida Law – earning a place as a Preeminent State Research University, while setting national records for student achievement and research along the way.

71%six-year graduation rate

25ptincrease

2000to2018

60%four-year graduation rate

40ptincrease

2000to2018

$502MAnnual Expenditures on Research & Development

402%increase

2000to2018