TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 5, 2021) – The University of South Florida is being recognized for maintaining a high-quality emergency management program, earning accreditation by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). This places USF as one of the top higher education institutions in the nation for emergency preparedness.
The EMAP utilizes peer assessment from other emergency management professionals around the world to evaluate a program’s strength. USF is now one of fewer than 10 universities in the country with this national recognition, which generally is only obtained by state and local emergency management programs. It is also the first univeristy with a multi-campus structure to recieve this accreditation. USF joins the ranks of institutions such as the University of Alabama, Washington University in St. Louis and Michigan State University, which also hold this prestigious designation.
USF’s Emergency Management Program began working toward this accreditation in 2015, when Jennifer Fleischman, USF’s director of emergency management, developed a needs assessment for the program. Fleischman identified numerous areas to build on to better align with the international standard that EMAP uses for assessments, which includes 16 main categories and 64 standard areas. The EMAP accreditation highlights the university’s commitment to a safe and prepared campus.
“This accreditation is really the result of years of hard work from both the emergency management staff on all campuses and our emergency operations personnel,” Fleischman said “It showcases that the University of South Florida is prepared for whatever could come our way and should make the community feel safer and more confident while on our campuses.”
Emergency management programs include more than just emergency management department and staff. The programs encompass all activities that mitigate against, prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from any type of disaster or emergency, such as an active threat, hurricane or pandemic. At USF, thousands of employees are included in this program as essential personnel. University police, information technology, business and finance, facilities management, student success, academic affairs, housing, parking and transportation services, as well as athletics are among the areas that played a part in securing this accreditation across all three campuses.
USF will maintain the accreditation for five years, at which point a reaccreditation process will occur.
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.