To the USF St. Petersburg campus community:
It is with mixed feelings that I announce today that I have tendered my resignation to President Genshaft as Regional Chancellor of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. My last day is Aug. 2.
This was not an easy decision. I have enjoyed my three and a half years leading this fine institution, and we have accomplished much together. But I feel in my heart that the timing is right. I have accomplished all the goals I set when I took over in December 2009 and believe USFSP is headed in the right direction despite the financial challenges ahead.
I am particularly proud of the reaffirmation of our accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in December 2011. Research funding has increased from $800,000 to nearly $6 million. New academic programs are in place, including Biology, Entrepreneurship, Global Business and an online Master’s degree in Digital Journalism and Design. In 2011, USFSP debuted in the U.S. News and World Report ranking of regional universities in the South at No. 36. And we now have our third endowed chair, thanks to the generosity of the Hough Family and their commitment to the Florida Studies Program.
Yes, there have been challenges. Enrollment has increased 26 percent while state-appropriated funding decreased 40 percent. Despite that, progress continues. The Science and Technology Building was completed. A new University Student Center was funded and is nearly complete, along with the new Student Life Center. The Debbie and Brent Sembler Family Fountain and Harborwalk unite the campus. Next up: a building for the College of Business, which the USF Board of Trustees has designated as its top building priority.
We have worked tirelessly to build an independent identity for USFSP as a separately accredited, autonomous institution; increased philanthropic support; and founded the first USFSP Alumni Society.
None of these things would have been possible without the hard work of our students, faculty and staff, and I would like to thank each and every one of you for the support you provided. While I will miss the many friends I have made on campus and off, I feel confident USFSP is destined for great things in the years to come.
Margaret Sullivan, Ph.D.