Comprehensive Standard 3.13.4b: Reaffirmation of Accreditation and Subsequent Reports
Applicable Policy Statements. If an institution is part of a system or corporate structure, a description of the system operation (or corporate structure) is submitted as part of the Compliance Certification for the decennial review. The description should be designed to help members of the peer review committees understand the mission, governance, and operating procedures of the system and the individual institution’s role within that system.
The University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee (USF Sarasota-Manatee) is a member of the USF System, which is an institution within the State University System (SUS) of Florida.
The USF System is comprised of three separately accredited institutions: USF in Tampa, USF St. Petersburg (USFSP), and USF Sarasota-Manatee (USF Sarasota-Manatee). USF consists of the main doctoral research campus in Tampa, USF Health, and the College of Marine Science located in St. Petersburg. The member institutions of the USF System (USF, USFSP, USF Sarasota-Manatee) have distinct missions, and each has its own strategic plan. By Carnegie classification, USF is a doctoral university with very high research activity, and USFSP and USF Sarasota-Manatee are each classified as master’s, medium level. The institutions report separately to the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
The USF System was created in 2001, when the Florida Legislature designated the former regional campuses of USF as “separate organizational and budget entities of the University of South Florida,” with Regional Chancellors reporting directly to the President (Florida Statute 1104.34(3)) with a dotted line to their Campus Boards. Additionally, it mandated separate legislative appropriations, named the campuses USF St. Petersburg (Florida Statute 1004.33) and USF Sarasota-Manatee (Florida Statute 1004.34), and required that USF seek separate accreditation for each campus.
The USF System provides access to an array of student experiences and a broad selection of degree programs. Collaborative degree programs, hosted programs, interdisciplinary initiatives, and undergraduate and graduate research opportunities increase student opportunities and foster student success. Activities at all USF System institutions focus on the recruitment and retention of top-level students and highly qualified faculty to enhance learning effectiveness and degree production, improve student retention, and raise graduation rates.
USF’s Board of Trustees (BOT) is the public body corporate created by Florida Statute 1001.72, and empowered by Florida Board of Governors Regulation 1.001 to administer the USF System. The USF System operates within the USF Board of Trustees governance structure of Workgroups and Councils , guided by the BOT’s Governance Policy 07-001 for the USF System. USF BOT Policy 07-001 (1,2) addresses how the BOG appoints the USF System President, the Chief Executive Officer, who in turn appoints the Regional Chancellors, who are the Chief Executive Officers of the two regional institutions.
The President and CEO of USF is also the System President. The Provost and Executive Vice President along with additional senior staff serve as system officers (USF System Organizational Chart – Governance and Administration). The System President chairs the System Leadership Council, which also includes the Regional Chancellors of USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee, the System Provost and Executive Vice President, and the System Chief Operating Officer.
The President and other System Officers are advised by three USF System Advisory Councils and the USF System Faculty Council, the principal, representative faculty governance body for the System. The System Advisory Councils include representatives from each of the USF System institutions. The System Faculty Council includes representatives of the three institutional faculty governance groups.
State University System of Florida
The Constitution of the State of Florida, Article IX (7b) creates a single State University System (SUS) comprising all public universities. Florida Statute 1001.706(1) establishes a single Board of Governors (BOG) that governs the system and is responsible for policy decisions, the implementation and maintenance of high-quality educational programs, the measurement of performance, the reporting of information, and the provision of input on state policy, budgeting, and education standards. BOG Regulation 1.001(5c, 6ab) gives the university’s board of Trustees (BOT) final authority to confirm the selection of each university president and final approval of all university budgets, including the establishment of tuition and fees. The BOG’s management of the SUS is subject to the power of the Florida Legislature to appropriate funds.
Seventeen (17) members comprise the BOG, fourteen (14) of whom are appointed by the Florida Governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate for a term of seven (7) years. The remaining members include the President of the Advisory Council of Faculty Senates, the Commissioner of Education, and the Chair of the Florida Student Association. On November 10, 2011, the BOG approved an updated Strategic Plan for the SUS, 2012-2025. The Strategic Plan sets forth the SUS Mission: “The mission of the State University System of Florida is to provide undergraduate, graduate and professional education, research, and public service of the highest quality through a coordinated system of institutions of higher learning, each with its own mission and collectively dedicated to serving the needs of a diverse state and global society.”
Florida Statute 1000.21(6) establishes that the State University System of Florida is comprised of 12 public universities. Florida Statute 1001.71 establishes that each public university in the SUS has a 13-member board of trustees. Each board of trustees is a “public body corporate” “with all the powers of a body corporate, including a corporate seal, the power to contract and be contracted with, to sue and be sued, to plead and be impleaded in all courts of law or equity, and to give and receive donations” (Florida Statute 1001.72). Pursuant to BOG Regulation 1.001, each board of trustees is vested with the powers and duties necessary and appropriate for the direction, operation, management, and accountability of its respective university.
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