TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2020) – The University of South Florida today released the following statement from President Steve Currall, Provost and Executive Vice President Ralph Wilcox and Interim Dean of the College of Education Judith Ponticell:
“Today we were pleased to join several Tampa Bay region school district superintendents for an important conversation on how USF will continue to deliver teacher education programs in the future.
Let us reiterate that no final decisions have been made regarding the College of Education. Meetings like the one today, and many others that Interim Dean Judith Ponticell continues to participate in with school superintendents, faculty, staff, students and community members, serve as critical opportunities to share ideas and listen to input as we reimagine our education programs during a period of significant budget challenges.
We recognize that in addition to research in the field of education, USF plays a key role in teacher preparation and certification for our region and in providing master’s and doctoral degree programs to support the development of counselors, principals, superintendents and other K-12 leadership positions. While changes are needed at USF after a 63% drop in the college’s undergraduate enrollment over the past decade, we intend to continue offering carefully selected undergraduate degrees in education, though likely fewer than the nine baccalaureate degrees, 15 majors, five minors and 18 concentrations currently available.
In the coming weeks, we will further receive and review information regarding the demand in K-12 schools for graduates of the undergraduate programs, and we will make informed and evidence-based decisions that align with the data. USF is also exploring how to deepen our commitment to STEM education on the St. Petersburg campus.
As our university-wide process of strategic realignment moves forward, USF remains committed to our responsibility of meeting the needs of the surrounding communities while continuing to be responsible stewards of the university’s financial resources.”
About the University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is a high-impact global research university dedicated to student success. Over the past 10 years, no other public university in the country has risen faster in U.S. News and World Report’s national university rankings than USF. Serving more than 50,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University by the Florida Board of Governors, placing it in the most elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF has earned widespread national recognition for its success graduating under-represented minority and limited-income students at rates equal to or higher than white and higher income students. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at www.usf.edu.