USF Consolidation and Campus Update

Posted On 11/27/2019 by Matt Lettelleir

Earlier this week, Martin Tadlock, Chancellor of USF St. Petersburg gave a briefing to the Chamber’s Public Policy Council on state of USFSP, the Consolidation of USF, and what is next for the campus.

Chancellor Tadlock began his presentation with a video showing brief clips of faculty, students, and administrators sharing insights into their experiences at USFSP. You can view the video by clicking here.

Student Success

USFSP has seen marked improvement in the Academic Progress Rate and Freshman Retention Rate. The Academic Progress Rate measures the percentage of students who are enrolled in the Fall Semester of a year and return the following Fall without being on academic probation. In 2016, USFSP had a 66% rating and in 2019 it improved to 78%.

The Freshman Retention Rate measures the percentage of first year students who return for their Sophomore year. In 2019, USFSP experienced a 83% retention rate, jumping up from 74% in 2018, the largest retention increase in the nation.

Record-Breaking Research

USFSP Research Programs are breaking records in awards in recent years. In the 2017-18 academic year, USFSP received $4.7M in awards. In 2018-19 that number was $6.2M and this year the campus has received $6.8M so far. These number are expected to increase as the State invests in USFSP to fulfill the promises made under Consolidation.


USFSP has received 2 recent gifts: $2M from Josephine Hall for improvements to the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library and Graphic Arts and $3M from Kate Tiedemann for an endowed deanship in the College of Business.

Priorities 2019-20

The USFSP campus is focused on three pillars: Research and innovation, Inclusive Community, and Sustainability (both environmentally and financially)

New Residence Hall

A new residence hall is being constructed between 3rd and 4th Streets on 6th Ave S. Expected to be ready for Fall 2020, this hall will house more than 300 students and have a dining hall on the ground floor.

Nursing Program

USFSP launched a nursing program on its campus this past fall. The first class has 20 students who will be performing clinical rotations at St. Anthony’s, Johns Hopkins All Children’s, and Bayfront Hospitals.

Online MBA

The Kate Tiedemann College of Business Online MBA was named one of the Top 25 in the nation by Princeton Review.

Pathways to USFSP

The increase in the criteria to gain admittance to USF under Consolidation has resulted in fewer students being admitted out of high school. The PATHe (Pinellas Access to Higher Education) project kicked off in Fall 2019. With 48 students, this program creates a pathway for admittance to USFSP after beginning undergraduate studies at St. Petersburg College without declaring a degree. This program is in addition to the FUSE program where students could begin degree studies at SPC and then transfer to USFSP.

Innovation Scholars

In partnership with the Innovation District, this program pairs first-year students with local business mentors and is the first of its kind in Florida and beyond. For more information on this program, please visit:


New USF President Steve Currall released the second version of his consolidation plan earlier this fall which designated USFSP and USFSM as branch campuses retaining some autonomy including budgetary authority. This plan also shows USFSP housing 3 Centers of Excellence in Oceanographic and Environmental Studies, STEM Education, and Journalism and Digital Communication. Future plans include programs in Engineering, Biomedical Sciences, and Fine Arts/Performing Arts. Chancellor Tadlock was asked what Legislative Priorities the Chamber should advocate for in regards to USFSP and he responded that Speaker Designate Chris Sprowls is the biggest champion for the campus in Tallahassee and asked us to support him in securing funds to build out the research programs in St. Pete to attract more grants and faculty as well as ensuring the final consolidation plan gives budgetary autonomy to the branch campuses.

Keep the Focus

In closing, Chancellor Tadlock expressed his gratitude to the Chamber for supporting USFSP and said he wants to continue building on the recent successes, focus on the students, and be mindful of the process going forward.

Category: Advocacy