3.1.1 Mission

Comprehensive Standard 3.1.1: Mission

The mission statement is current and comprehensive, accurately guides the institution’s operations, is periodically reviewed and updated, is approved by the governing board, and is communicated to the institution’s constituencies. 

Compliance Partial Compliance Non-compliance


The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USF Sarasota-Manatee) has a current Mission Statement that guides the institution while complementing that of the USF System Mission Statement. As an integral and complementary part of a multi-campus university system, USF Sarasota-Manatee retains a separate identity and mission while contributing to and benefiting from the associations, cooperation, and shared resources of the USF System. Its mission is comprehensive in its commitment to excellence of academic, research, and service programs at every level and for all modes of delivery. USF Sarasota-Manatee’s mission is periodically reviewed and updated, approved by the governing board, and communicated publicly.

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Mission Statement

The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee provides high quality bachelor’s and graduate-level education and scholarly activity in a personalized learning community that prepares successful leaders and responsible citizens.

Guide to Institutional Operations

An important example of how the mission statement guides the activities and decisions of the institution can be seen in the Implementation Plan for “Focus on Quality 2020,” USF Sarasota-Manatee‘s Strategic Plan 2015 -2020. For each of the seven (7) Strategic Goals that align with the Mission are Strategies that detail the responsible area, the resources needed, and the deadline for completion. The responsible areas used the Implementation Plan’s strategies to guide the development of their annual unit assessment plans. For example, the units Technology Services, Business and Financial Affairs, and E-Learning are responsible for Strategy 4.3 in the Implementation Plan. Each of these units included their part of the strategy in their assessment plans for 2015-16.

Example of “Closing the Loop” from USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan 2012-2016

During the summer of 2010, then Regional Chancellor Arthur Guilford charged the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Planning Committee to review and revise the mission statement of the 2006-11 USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan to reflect a growing institution. The mission statement at the time specified the upper-level and graduate program offerings of the university: “The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee delivers quality education to upper-division and graduate students in an active research environment.”

Consensus on the campus and within the community to add lower-level course work was growing. In conjunction with Institutional Research and Effectiveness (IR), the Strategic Planning Committee found ample evidence to support adding lower-division programming to the university’s curriculum.  An overview of the evidence is documented in Request for Lower-Level Documentation Report.

On December 16, 2010 , the USF Board of Trustees approved adding general education curriculum and lower-division academic programs at USF Sarasota-Manatee. Following the approval, USF Sarasota-Manatee updated its strategic plan and mission statement, removing “upper-division and graduate students” with “professional higher education programs.”  Goal 1a of the 2012-16 Strategic Plan called for an expansion of academic programs, “including the ability for students to complete the full four-year bachelor’s degree.”

Unit heads revised assessment outcomes to align with the updated 2012-16 Strategic Plan: Access = Success. Within the assessment reports, unit heads provided data supporting evidence of accomplishing the goals and plans resulting from the analysis of the assessment data provides for continuous improvement. The examples below show how the College of Arts & Sciences, the Regional Chancellor, and Student Services units assessed and documented their areas’ alignment with the 2012-16 Strategic Plan: Access = Success in 2012-13 and 2013-14, particularly in adding and supporting lower-level and freshman course work to USF Sarasota-Manatee’s curriculum.

College of Arts & Sciences Assessment Reports 2012-132013-14
Regional Chancellor Assessment Reports 2012-132013-14
Student Services Assessment Reports 2012-132013-14

To ensure the availability of resources for the new strategic goal, the annual Legislative Budget Request for 2012 included a request related to the proposal to offer lower-level programs. USF Sarasota-Manatee also developed a contingency plan  to cover the initial instructional costs of the lower-level program with carry-forward funds. USF Sarasota-Manatee projected that the program would be self-sustaining within three to four years of its initiation.

Analysis of the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan 2012-16 documents the achievement of the goal to add lower-level, general education programming at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

Periodic Review and Updating

An update of USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Mission Statement was scheduled for 2016 with the expiration of the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan 2011-16. However, Dr. Sandra Stone, upon her arrival as the new Regional Chancellor in November 2014, recognized the need to update USF Sarasota-Manatee’s existing strategic plan, as many of the goals had been met and the environment had changed in the four years since achieving separate regional accreditation. She prioritized the development of a new strategic plan for USF Sarasota-Manatee as her main goal for the 2014-15 year, which was achieved.

USF Sarasota-Manatee will formally review its 2015-20 Strategic Plan semi-annually. The Senior Leadership Team, the Faculty Senate, and the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee (SPAC) will meet each at the beginning and middle of each budget year to assess progress toward the key performance indicators and update strategies. The USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus Board will review the Plan’s status following these reviews. Below is the timeline for semi-annual reviews of Strategic Plan 2015-2020:

July 2015                              Initiation of Plan
January 2016                      Mid-year Review
July 2016                              Annual Review
January 2017                      Mid-Year Review
July 2017                              Annual Review
January 2018                      Mid-Year Review
July 2018                              Annual Review
January 2019                      Mid-Year Review
July 2019                              Annual Review
January 2020                      Mid-year Review
July 2020                              Final Report

USF Sarasota-Manatee has scheduled the first round of reviews during the last two weeks of January 2016.

Governing Board Approval

The USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus Board approved the current mission statement within the new strategic plan on April 10, 2015, and the USF Board of Trustees approved it on June 4, 2015.

Communication to Constituencies

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Mission Statement is included on the Website and in the Catalog. The full strategic plan, including the mission, is also on the USF Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan Website in the Focus on Quality 2020: Sarasota-Manatee Strategic Plan 2015-2020.


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