TAMPA — This afternoon, the long-serving president of the University of South Florida will announce to the world that she’s stepping down after 18 years. But first, Judy Genshaft wrote a letter to students, faculty, staff and higher education leaders.
The moment was right, she wrote, citing strides in research, reputation and student success.
"Because of this positive momentum, my family and I believe that this is the right time for me to step down from my post as President, effective July 1, 2019," Genshaft said. "It has been the honor of my professional career to be part of this journey since the year 2000."
Genshaft will speak to the media at 2 p.m. today in the Patel Center for Global Solutions on the Tampa campus. Stay with tampabay.com for coverage.
Read the president’s letter in full:
To the USF community, USF Board of Trustees and Florida Board of Governors:
The University of South Florida System is on a trajectory unlike ever before in its history. We are reaching milestones once reserved for universities twice our age. We are being recognized by everyone from local supporters to state leaders to national and global higher education stakeholders. We continue to make groundbreaking strides in research, student success, teaching and community impact. And we are coming together, for the good of our students, as one united, strong and dynamic university.
Because of this positive momentum, my family and I believe that this is the right time for me to step down from my post as President, effective July 1, 2019. It has been the honor of my professional career to be part of this journey since the year 2000.
USF is on the cusp of a new era because of the collective will and tenacity of the entire USF community. This year we were named a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, we were welcomed into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa national honor society, we surpassed our $1 billion goal for our Unstoppable campaign, we reached a record of $568 million in annual research expenditures and we admitted the most accomplished freshmen class in our university’s history. The USF System has transformed into a vibrant community, with millions of dollars in new residential, academic and research facilities, including our new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute in downtown Tampa. And I’m especially proud of the national recognition USF has received for our efforts to improve student success and close the graduation gap among students of all races, ethnicities and socioeconomic status.
All of us working together as a USF community – the students, faculty, staff, university administration, Board of Trustees, alumni, fans and supporters — is what made these achievements possible. It is this community that decided, together, to push the limits of our own potential. It is this community that will keep pushing forward as we reach greater heights of excellence.
I know that our leadership team, including our trustees, vice presidents and deans, will ensure that our strong momentum continues during the transition and beyond.
Nearly two decades ago, this university and this Tampa Bay community welcomed me, Steve and our sons into its family. The impact that this community has made on me and my family cannot be overstated, and we are deeply grateful. Thank you for your support and friendship.
USF System President