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subfield code a U30-000102 USFLDC DOI0 245 Dr. Judy Genshaft oral history interviewh [electronic resource] /c interviewed by Andrew Thomas "Andy" Huse.500 Full cataloging of this resource is underway and will replace this temporary record when complete.1 600 Genshaft, Judy7 655 Oral history.localOnline audio.local700 Huse, Andrew Thomas710 University of South Florida.b Library.Digital Scholarship Services - Digital Collections.Oral History Program.773 t USF History Oral History Project4 856 u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?u30.10
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text Andrew Huse (AH): So, itâ€™s May 22nd, 2019. Iâ€™m Andrew Huse of Special Collections in the library here at the University of South Florida, and Iâ€™m here with President Judy Genshaft and her assistant, Kimâ€”
Kim Hill (KH): Hill.
AH: â€”Hill. I was about to say â€œHall.â€ Hill. And, first of all, thank you so much for taking the time.
Judy Genshaft (JG): Absolutely.
AH: This is aâ€”
JG: Absolutely. Ask me how I'm feeling.
AH: How are you feeling today?
JG: Preeminent and proud of it.
AH: All right. Well, and thereâ€™s a good reason for that. I think we should mention for the record today, whatâ€”tell us about the event that you just got out of.
JG: Well, this is a historic event, in the sense that no other sitting [university] president in the United States, to our knowledgeâ€”and weâ€™ve done a good database searchâ€”has ever made a gift as large as this gift announced today.
JG: Which was the $20 million for the, now, Judy Genshaft Honors College. But beyond that, I've givenâ€”my husband and I have given over $10 million for various activities at the University of South Florida, whether it be the Women in Leadership & Philanthropy, the downtown med school, the athletics arena, the arts, WUSF, you name it.
JG: We have been donors for all of the 19 years, but this isâ€”today was a very focused $20 million. So, if you look back, as a president I've given, at this point, 30 million, or over $30 million, to the University of South Florida.
AH: Thatâ€™s amazing.
JG: I donâ€™t know of any other sitting president in the United [States]â€”public or privateâ€”that has given this much. And itâ€™s not about the amount, itâ€™s about how we feel about giving back, and how we feel about the university, and how much we value the university and vice versa.
AH: Right. Absolutely. And would this be an appropriate time to ask you about your motherâ€™s advice?
JG: Ah, yes.
AH: It seems like an appropriate thing thatâ€”
JG: Absolutely. When my motherâ€”who has now passed awayâ€”was very proud of all of our accomplishments in the family. And I said to her one time, throughoutâ€”through my career at other universities before University of South Florida, â€œGuess what? I have good news to share with you. Iâ€™ve just been told Iâ€™m going to be the provost at a university, the University of Albany at SUNY.â€ And she said, â€œOh, that is wonderful. Itâ€™s quite an honor. You should not take any money for that. And no salary at all. Youâ€”itâ€™s just the honor alone thatâ€™s enough.â€ And I said, â€œYes, mom.â€
AH: Thatâ€™s great.
JG: It was funny.
AH: Right. I saw that today, before coming, and was blown away by the news of your donation. And then, of course, thereâ€™s this great billboard along Fowler Avenue right now with your picture on it, and itâ€™sâ€”what does it say again? It saysâ€”
KH: â€œGrateful for Genshaft.â€
AH: â€œGrateful for Genshaft,â€ right.
KH: â€œPreeminent Leadership.â€
AH: Yes. I thought that was very appropriate.
JG: Yes. Thatâ€™sâ€”thank you. Thatâ€™s quite nice.
AH: The other things I could think of isâ€”to talk about and to describe you, your leadership in one word: Unprecedented. I mean, thereâ€™s nothing before in USF, really, that you could compare it to. Itâ€™s just utterly transformative. So how does your previous experienceâ€”
JG: Well, when you say transformativeâ€”
JG: Let me just say that one of theâ€”there are many, many highlights at the University of South Florida, but one of them, this past year, that was really terrific, was the American Council on Education, which is the largest organization for higher educators in America. Itâ€™s got over 4,000 members, and you can be a part of it if youâ€™re public, private, for-profit, not for-profit, community college to research universities. And so itâ€™s a very large organization, but they have, once a year, an award that they give out to one university that isâ€”has enrollment under 5,000 students, and one that has enrollment over 5,000 students. This year, the University of South Florida won the most transformational institution in the United States. The most innovative and transâ€”you knowâ€”transformational.
AH: Well, well earned.
JG: So, you had just said about transformation.
JG: And itâ€™s all about student success and our research profile and our billion-dollar fundraising campaignâ€”as young as we are, 1956â€”and Phi Beta Kappa, and it just keeps adding. So I said I felt like I was winning an Academy Award, because itâ€™s your peers that vote on you. So it was really a remarkable awardâ€”remarkable award.
AH: Right. Absolutely. I mean, yeah, there are some from small clubs and stuff, but something like that is reallyâ€”itâ€™s got to be meaningful for you.
JG: Itâ€™s great. It was really great.
AH: Right. So talking about, you know, we just talked about SUNY a little bit. How did your previous experiences prepare you to lead here at USF?
JG: Well, I think they have been very, very, very helpful and instructive in every way. So I went throughâ€”when I first became an assistant professor at the Ohio State University, that first year, I went to the only female vice president at the university, Ohio State University, and I made an appointment with her, and I said, basically, in a nice way, and I was very interested, â€œHow did you get to where you are?â€
And she said to me, â€œDonâ€™t do anything without getting your assistant to associate professor status, associate to full. Do not stop anywhere in between. Donâ€™t get caught up in too many committees. Make sure that youâ€™re very focused on moving from assistant to associate, associate to full.â€ And she was so correct. And I followed her to a tee, her advice.
And so I went from assistant to associate, which means you have to do a lot of scholarly writing, grant-getting, teaching well, serviceâ€”to a minimumâ€”but service work, and learn how to go through the ranks as an assistant to associate, associate to full. And I did both of those early. Itâ€™s usually six years up and out; I went through five years in each and became the youngest full professor at Ohio State that was a woman.
AH: Oh, wow.
JG: Yeah. So I went through fast, but I followed her advice to a tee. And it was really, really helpful, and I use that piece of advice for all faculty today. You donâ€™tâ€”you want your credentials to stand as tall and as solid as anybody elseâ€™s. And so that takes away, â€œWell, she doesnâ€™t have her full professorship, so she canâ€™t be a dean or a chair.â€ Chair, dean, whatever. And thatâ€”I think thatâ€™s true in any aspect of any career. You want to make sure your credentials stand on their own and theyâ€™re reallyâ€”that gives you some integrity, that gives you some substance behind you. Itâ€™s very important.
So thatâ€™s just the beginning, and then after my status [change] to full professor, I went to the then-president at Ohio State, and I said, â€œIâ€™d like to do aâ€â€”what they have isâ€”American Council on Education has a fellowship, where those seeking to be in administration can spend one year at a different university with either the provost or the president, as an internship type of yearâ€”they call it a fellowship yearâ€”and learn what the job is like and whether or not youâ€™re going to fit in, whatever.
So when I went to the president at Ohio State, I said, â€œIâ€™d like to have a fellowshipâ€â€”and he saidâ€”â€œto go to another university.â€ And he said, â€œNo. If you want an internship, I'll set one up for you here at Ohio State.â€ So within three months, I became intern to the president at Ohio State and actâ€”and then he gave me another title and another job, in addition, which was acting associate provost of the regional campuses, and Ohio State had four regional campuses. So I learned both the provost, academic side of administration, as well as the presidential side. And theyâ€™re very different. The two of them are very complementary to each other, but theyâ€™re different from one another.
JG: I finished my internship withâ€”after a year, and I said, â€œOkay, now I'm ready to move on to my administrative role.â€ And he said, â€œYou have to go back and be a chair of a department, because you need to have line responsibility: responsibility for budget, for curriculum, and for personnel. You donâ€™t want to want to be an associate to, because you donâ€™t have that line responsibility. You want to be the chair.â€ So I went back to my departmentâ€”42 membersâ€”and then I was selected to, or elected, to be the chair of the department, and I was chair for five years.
And then, I said, â€œOkay, my five years are up, whatâ€™s next?â€ He said, â€œDean. You have to be a dean.â€ So Iâ€”sometimes you have to move out to move up, and that was the time I moved from Ohio State, after 16 years. I moved to be the dean at the University at Albany at SUNY, and spent three years as dean and was promoted to provost, where I wasnâ€™t to take any salary.
AH: Right, of course. Tell us a little bit aboutâ€”before we move on from your academic career, what kind of research did you get into, you know, in yourâ€”when you talk about climbing that early ladder.
JG: I did a lot of research on gifted children, and gifted and talented, very bright. In the area of school psychology, we do a lot of intellectual assessment. So I've written a book on contemporary intelligence-assessment techniques. And I also worked a lot with math anxiety in women, and how it comes about it. These are bright people, but somehow or another, theyâ€™re lagging behind in some of the mathematics. Theyâ€™re not as represented in the world of mathematics asâ€”and some have outright anxiety. Usually starts seventh, eighth, and ninth grade.
So I wrote a grant and it was fundedâ€”federally fundedâ€”and then I had done a lot of writing in that. But I've written a fair number of grants and brought in a sizable amount of money during that time. So it was intellectual assessment, it was gifted and talented, as well as math anxiety in women. And theyâ€”it all goes together. I mean, these are bright people.
AH: Right. Well, it also seems like it hasâ€”itâ€™s probably really affected your outlook as a president, too. I mean, the way you look at students, and the way they learn and everything, too. So I could see how that could really be applicable later on as an administrator.
JG: And you always use psychology in administration, because your power is the power of persuasion. And you want to bring groups that areâ€”have differences of opinions. They may not have to believe with whatâ€”believe exactly what one another says, but youâ€™ve got to get the dissenting or the different groups to come together toward a conclusion. And you have to work the group, you have to work the individuals. Everything is about relationships and trust. They have to know that what youâ€™re trying to convey is something that is meaningful and is rational. So itâ€™sâ€”again, itâ€™s your power of persuasion as a leader. So I use psychology a lot.
AH: Right. Wow. When you arrived at USF, what were some of the assets that you saw when you arrived? You know, everyâ€”we all build upon each otherâ€™s successes, and certainly there were probably a lot of shortcomings, too. But what were some of the things when you first arrived that you thought, Okay, I can do something with this?
JG: Oh, when I first arrived, I could see so much potential here. The founders and the first presidents at the University of South Florida had really set it on a very good trajectory. And when Iâ€”I could see that itâ€™s at a plateau, at that moment, and it either could soar to a really top-notch research university, or it could take a different trajectory and just be a teaching institution. And my background was all about research, mission, big land-grant institutions. I could only see it moving forward intoâ€”forward, in the sense of a major powerhouse research institution. And it has a responsibility, as a state university, to be an economic engine for the region.
So I always felt, coming inâ€”my whole family feltâ€”we were welcomed so beautifully in the Tampa Bay area. I just wondered, after a year or so, would that go away? And it never has. Itâ€™s a great, incredible community, and we just love Tampa Bay. So for us, I think itâ€™s a privilege to be the economic engine for the whole Tampa Bay region, regardless of whether youâ€™re USF St. Pete, Sarasota, or USF Tampa. Itâ€™s really a privilege to be able to help with the workforce, discover new techniques and innovations, and patents and licensing, as well as, what are the best practices in teaching, for example. What are the best practices in pharmacy? What are the best practices? And take those best practices out to the community, so that they can be used to make life better.
AH: Right. Well, you know, with USFâ€™s heritage as kind of being the first urban university here in Florida, you know, if we had been out in the middle of nowhere, none of this kind of synergy would have been possible, right?
JG: Especially for the time that we were founded. Because the synergy, whenâ€”in the 1800sâ€”was about agriculture, so thatâ€™s why you have so many land-grant universities in the middle of agriculture. Theyâ€™re rural. But ours is different because the economy had shifted more toward a city, more toward metropolitan area. But, of course, we know why we were named South Florida. The governor at the time said, â€œThere will no more universities in the state of Florida. Youâ€™re going to take care of all of the south Florida, and youâ€™re south of Tallahassee and south of Gainesville.â€
AH: So, when you were inaugurated, actuallyâ€”there was bit of a gap between when you arrived and when you were inaugurated. Is thereâ€”was there any reason for that? Orâ€”Iâ€™m just curious.
JG: Well, itâ€™s the same thing that happened this year, when we selected orâ€”I didnâ€™tâ€”but when they select a new president. I was named the incoming president on March 10th, and I didnâ€™t start until July 5th.
AH: Right. Okay.
JG: Thisâ€”Steve Currall was named the incoming president in March, also, and he starts July 1st. Same thing. So itâ€™s just giving each institution a yearâ€™s notice to search, to finish up your job, and to start in the summer, which is usually a good starting point. Itâ€™s a little slower, so you can learn a lot.
AH: Right. So how did it feel just being inaugurated? Tell me aboutâ€”just a little bit about your inauguration.
JG: That was a highlight of my career. And I think whatâ€™s happening now toâ€”when I'm stepping downâ€”itâ€™s going to be a twin highlight. But Iâ€™ve often said, when I described it, other than my wedding, this was the highlight, professionally, that Iâ€™ve ever hadâ€”was the inauguration. It was exhilarating.
AH: I bet. Initially, what did you see as your biggest challenges as president, and what did you see as your biggest opportunities? We sort of talked about the potential you saw. Now what were some of the challenges your saw here at USF?
JG: Well, I think theâ€”any presidencyâ€”itâ€™s more of a rollercoaster ride. You have tremendous highs, like today, but you also have tremendous lows. And the fact that I believed, down in my bones, since I arrived, that this was a good fitâ€”I knew that it was a good fitâ€”and that kind of feeling takes you through some of your tough times, because you know thereâ€™s something that you can make a difference here. But the other part thatâ€™s very, very important is that you have your board[â€™s], whether itâ€™s a Board of Regents or a Board of Trustees, backing and support and advocacy. Because if that doesnâ€™t happen, youâ€™re not going very far.
So I've been very fortunate to have an outstanding Board of Trustees. And itâ€™s been evolving, but weâ€™ve always had a very transparent and good and solid relationship with each of the trustees, regardless of their leadership style. And so I say all of this becauseâ€”when, the first month on the job, I was told that the female basketball coach, who is white, was retaliating, accused of retaliating and being harmful, in a sense, to black female student-athletes on the team. And that really threw a firestorm at me because itâ€”of course, it incited a lot of the whole Tampa Bay community.
And I was very fortunate to have great, helpful mentors here in Tampa Bay that led me to Judge Hatchett, who was on the Florida Supreme Court. And I could call him in to help with consulting, and looking at the whole arena, and to help me out with advice. And the fact that he was African-American was very, very, very important. So from the first month I was here, I started with some, what I would call, crises that were occurring.
AH: Well, and they wereâ€”it wasn't just one or twoâ€”
AH: â€”it was a succession.
JG: It was a succession of crises.
AH: And not of your own making, but that you had to now own.
JG: Deal with, sure.
AH: Right. Right.
JG: Sure. Sure. So that led to a number of changes that had to be madeâ€”that particular incident. And that is when I was fortunate enough to have Lee Roy Selmon interested in the position, and he took on the athletic director position. And it started to calm things down. Judge Hatchett and Lee Roy Selmon were really terrific. Then, when we had our own Board of Trustees, in Julyâ€”Juneâ€”July 1st, 2001.
AH: Just another big change?
JG: Just another big change, which was great. Good board. Excellent board. And then September 11th occurred.
JG: And that was a crisis for the nation, and there was the incident where Sami Al-Arian was being watched on our campus by the FBI, and some threats of blowing up theâ€”bombing the engineering building, where he was a tenured professor. And I had to deal with that particular, very rough saga for a year and a half. That was a tough one.
AH: Because feelings were just white hot after September 11th.
JG: They were white hot. And it was a very, very, very vicious, tough time. And so it became a question of his free speech versus was there something criminal going on? And it was a very, very, very trying time.
AH: I bet. Well, you know, and the one thingâ€”I was really impressed with the way that you reacted to the womenâ€™s basketball team incident, kerfuffle, in the sense that it all seemed to be very proactive and positive in response. In the sense that, as far as I understand it, you kind of advocated for kind of central reporting of things like this, so that it didnâ€™t get reported to just athletics. It would get reported centrally to the university, so the university, holisticallyâ€”and, well, at the topâ€”could get ahead of these things before they became big problems. And it seems like, if USF had implemented that years and years before, thereâ€™s a lot of things that we would have avoided. So it just seems like the central reporting is sort of 21st century. Is that safe to say? I mean, because thereâ€™s so much more sensitivity on campus than there used to be, and for good reason. But that central reporting, is that as important as I think it is?
JG: Indeed, it is. It is. Itâ€™s very, very, very important. And I've always been one that has embraced diversityâ€”always. So it was quite a shock to see that the community was having a lot of trouble understanding what was going on out here. And it was Judge Hatchettâ€™s recommendations to bring it centrally, which I was happy to do. So it helped to have his expertise and his statureâ€”his statureâ€”recommend these kinds of things. And I made that switch immediately. And it was the right thing to do. It was the right thing to do.
AH: Well, at least you know youâ€™re not going to be ambushed again by things like this, you know, where you donâ€™t know somethingâ€™s happened, and then itâ€™s kind of become a crisis without your knowledge, you know.
JG: But thatâ€™s the way crises are, right?
AH: Right. Right.
JG: That, you know, you donâ€™tâ€”you think youâ€™ve got to handle it, but itâ€™sâ€”youâ€™ve ever played the game Whac-A-Mole, you have to push one down, then something else pops up that youâ€™re not aware of. But thatâ€™s the nature of a crisis. And I've always said, â€œThings happen.â€ Weâ€™reâ€”we have 16,000 employees now. We have over 50,000 students, not to mention the visitors that are on campus and the neighbors that come on. So things happen. Weâ€™re running a mini-city. But itâ€™s how you handle them that makes a difference. Thatâ€™s what really, to me, is a decision point of your integrity, is how you handle those situations.
AH: Before moving on, is there anything elseâ€”I mean, youâ€™ve issued plenty of statements about Al-Arian. Do we need to say anything more about that?
JG: I donâ€™t think so.
AH: Moving on. So thatâ€”those first couple of years were just a succession of crises. Was there any time that you thought, like, What did I do? Is this gig going to be the end of me orâ€”? Did you ever have second thoughts? I mean, you kind of talked about that you already had a lot of belief in, kind of your mission here, butâ€”
JG: Yeah, honestly, I reallyâ€”when I have an issue that confronts me, of any sort, I usually run to it and try to get on it before it becomes even a larger wildfire. If you can take it down as a brushfire, youâ€™re much better off than a wildfire. And you want to deal with it [as] openly as you possibly can, and never cover up. You donâ€™t want to cover up, soâ€”but Iâ€™m a very consultive person, so I really need the expertise around me, to give me a perspective on things. And I'veâ€”whether itâ€™s national peers saying, Help me out with this, what should I do? Or itâ€™s local people or Judge Hatchettâ€”exampleâ€”having this expertise come in, and then I can really formulate a quick decision, and I will.
AH: Right. Okay. On the other side of this, after those, kind of, few years of crises were over, did you feel like, okay, I can kind of do anything now? Or, I can handle just about enough?
JG: Never. Never. You know, thereâ€™s always something else that youâ€™re notâ€”and to this day, I always say, â€œYou never know when youâ€™ll be on the other side.â€ I mean, you have to worry all the time about, whatâ€™s going to happen that I'm not aware of? And as much as you try to take care of everything, I never feel that my position is locked in. Ever. Ever. I mean, something terrible could happen and I'm gone tomorrow. And thatâ€™sâ€”Iâ€™m always looking over my shoulderâ€”
AH: Iâ€™m sure.
JG: â€”and never taking the job for granted. You justâ€”you just donâ€™t know.
AH: Words of wisdom.
JG: Itâ€™s true. Even now.
AH: So, dealingâ€”you talked aboutâ€”at Ohio State having, there was branch campuses.
AH: So you were kind of familiar with that setup when it came to USF. So tell us about the branch campuses, how are they assets, and just your general thoughts about it.
JG: Well, it really gave me a good background on how the branch campuses at Ohio State were very integral to the whole university. And it was a different structure than what we had at the University of South Florida. But I learnedâ€”I respect the branch campuses, and I respect the teaching that goes out, and all of theâ€”and the students. This is a way the students can afford to come to school, oftentimes, first, and then they come over to the main campus, which was more of an Ohio State model.
But I wasâ€”when I first came on board, that was the time that they were talking about separating the branch campuses from Tampa completely. And I really encouraged them not to do that, because I know how to handle and respect theâ€”I said, â€œGive me a chance.â€ But theyâ€”before I even had a chance, the president of the [Florida] Senate, at the time, John McKay, decided, â€œIâ€™m not even going to think about it. New College [of Florida] will become separated from USF, and itâ€™s going to happen. Donâ€™t even talk to me about it, Judy.â€ I was a week or two old as a president, so I just said, â€œWhatever. I mean, I hope youâ€™ll give me a chance. And if not, weâ€™ll be good neighbors.â€
AH: Itâ€™s all you could do.
JG: Itâ€™s all I could do. But the growth of the regional campuses that we have nowâ€”I could seeâ€”when theyâ€™re taking only three or four courses, and theyâ€™re having to drive to Tampa, it didnâ€™t make any sense. We wanted to have full-degree programs on each of their locations. And also, I could see that New College is a very different group of students than those that are working and coming back for school on a part-time basis. Theyâ€™re very different populations.
And I really did believe there should be two different types ofâ€”not instruction, as much as settings. And St. Petersburg was a gem that needed to beâ€”to grow as well. So weâ€™ve really built a whole new campus for Sarasota-Manatee. Beautiful, beautiful. And weâ€™ve really enhanced tremendously, tremendously the St. Pete campus, so that they have their own full-degree programs.
And donâ€™t forget, in 2001 was the legislation that said, â€œYou will have each of the branch campuses accredited.â€ And the Board of Governors, in order to get that accreditation and get their signature on the line, the Board of Governorsâ€”thatâ€™s a statewide boardâ€”said, â€œNo branch campus anywhere in the state of Florida will beâ€”will have a doctoral program. They will be undergraduate- and masterâ€™s-only programs.â€ So theyâ€™ve only beenâ€”theyâ€™ve been accredited, not only, but theyâ€™ve been accredited as master-level campuses.
JG: Asâ€”St. Pete first, and then Sarasota second. It just is the way it worked.
AH: But thatâ€™s still on the books, though? The non-PhD-in-branch-campuses?
JG: That still is on the books, but once youâ€™re consolidated, it goes off.
AH: Oh. I mustâ€™veâ€”
JG: They will have doctoral programs.
AH: Okay. Right. Understood. Okay.
JG: But if youâ€™re separately accredited, youâ€™re only at the masterâ€™s level.
AH: Right. You know, the other thing about the branch campuses too that strikes me as, you know, when you talk about being an economic engineâ€”you know, youâ€™ve got multiple economic engines kind of around the Bay area, and then also, it becomes a reallyâ€”they each become important grounds for development, too, I would think.
AH: So thatâ€™s reallyâ€”
JG: You mean fundraising?
JG: Oh, absolutely.
AH: And just, you know, networking and all that stuff, you know.
JG: You want that loyalty. You want to know that thereâ€”that each of the campuses, the branch campusesâ€”are supplying the workforce demands that the area requires. And so, itâ€™s very different in Sarasota-Manatee than it might be in St. Petersburg than it is in Tampa. So weâ€”and the employers donâ€™t care which of the campus locations the students come from, or workforce comes from. They want the workforce.
So theyâ€™re all okay with that. But once that legislation went throughâ€”and whatever the rules are from the state law, I'm going to follow them. So we went ahead and followed the state law, and it was working fine, but it made it hard for the students to go from one campus to the next. Because separate accreditation meansâ€”itâ€™s almost like University of Montana and University ofâ€”whatever.
AH: South Dakota?
JG: South Dakota. And University of South Floridaâ€”and you actually have to formally transfer from one campus to the next.
AH: Understood, yeah. Okay, so the student population grew by about 7,000 in your first three years. Itâ€™s just amazing. I mean, even if you compare that to â€™60s when growth was explosive, it was nothing like that. Were you expecting that kind of growth?
JG: I donâ€™t know if I was expecting that amount of growth, but what I can tell you is, the goals and how you receive your money, at that time, from the state was based on how many students enroll, not who finishes. So growth around the state was comparable, I would think, in all other Florida institutions, because that is how you got your budget.
AH: Right. And itâ€™s completely changed.
JG: And it didnâ€™t matter that a student would drop out, so our graduation rates were not good at all, but we were still receiving the money we needed because we had enrolled so many.
AH: Understood. And now itâ€™s much moreâ€”
JG: And now, itâ€™s much better because outcome measures really are more advantageous to students. Thereâ€™s going to be less debt overall because we want them to go through, finish in a four-year, hopefully, if not, the six-year time. And itâ€™s really, you knowâ€”if you want to stay in school longer, you can as a masterâ€™s or second-degree student, but you need that degree to get out and get a job.
JG: Start your career.
AH: Thatâ€™s interesting. So research funding, one of your favorite subjects, grew from 161 to 255 million in your first three years. Once again, first three years, and itâ€™s continued to climb significantly every year. Whatâ€™s been your strategy for increasing research, and why is it such an important priority?
JG: Research was one of the priorities I really installâ€”orâ€”
JG: â€”instilled. Thank you.
JG: Youâ€™ll help me on this. Instilled right away. Like I said earlier, I knew that we had done a good job with research. It was what, about 175â€”around 175 million then, when I first started.
AH: Okay. Yeah, it said 161 to 255.
JG: Okay. Okay, 161, thank you. But I could also see it was teeter-tottering. And you need toâ€”if you want something to happen, you need to build in the incentives and the value structure. And so we started to reward grant-writing and to set up internal grants that somebody could apply forâ€”receive an internal grantâ€”but you must, if you get an internal grant, you must submit, follow up by submitting a federal grant. That is contingent upon receiving the money.
So it started to get the message around, that this research funding is very, very important, very valued, and giving out any bonuses that we could to people were writing grants. And the word startedâ€”and we formed a Million Dollar Club for any researchers that would be receiving a million dollars, they would be part of a dinner club that we would have. And you justâ€”the word gets around. Itâ€™s like changing a culture. Thatâ€™s very important. Thatâ€”and itâ€™s important in promoting and tenure decision-making, and so youâ€™d see, well, this person didnâ€™t get promotion or didnâ€™t get promoted and tenured because there wasnâ€™t enough research. And I donâ€™t want those to move from assistant to associate that I donâ€™t believe will go from associate to full. And thereâ€™s a trajectory, you watch their patterns.
And so there was a lot of incentive in that structure, but there is something else that was very impactful. We were very fortunate to have CW Young, Congressman Young, who was very senior in Congress and very influential. And, at that time, he wanted to give back to our area and to the university, so he helped set up funding sources, particularly in the area of marine sciences and in medicine. And so large federal funds would come in through his allocations to us.
But what made us differentâ€”because other uniâ€”other congresspeople and such were doing that. But what made us different is we used that as a jump start. We never just took it, finished the grant, and left, and never wrote another grant, like many other universities did. We were hungry. So we took that jump start, that spark plug, and then started the engine moving. And we could then host him to show the further grants that we had received through competitive efforts and how we grew. That made a huge difference for us.
AH: Well, I could seeâ€”
JG: But I thank him over and over for our jump start.
AH: Right. And those internal grants, I could see, too, how that would be reallyâ€”
JG: Itâ€™s a jump start.
AH: â€”a great incentive, right?
JG: Thatâ€™s how I got started in grant writing at Ohio State. I first got an internal grant that required me to go to a national, and I was fortunate enough to achieve that. So that helps a lot.
AH: Absolutely. So, over the years, the structure of the state universityâ€™s system governance has gone through several evolutions. We just talked about that. So how did you navigate it as president? I guess a lot of these changes happened when you first arrived, so it wasnâ€™t like you were set in a certain way, you know, for 10 years, and then they changed it. It seemed likeâ€”
JG: Not really. I donâ€™t quite agree with that becauseâ€”so we moveâ€”my first year, New College was taken away. I never even had a chance to work with New College. Then we had to go through our regional accreditation, and then we had the challenge with Lakeland.
AH: Oh, right. Right. Well, what I was thinking about, specifically, was the governance, so I'm thinking about the Board of Governorsâ€”you know, the Board of Regents going away, the Board of Governors coming in, and then we get our Board of Trustees.
JG: No, it wasâ€”first, we had the Board of Regents. I was hired by a chancellor, Adam Herbert, who, remember it, inâ€”were you at the inauguration?
JG: He said, â€œAnd I nowâ€”â€ he put the medallion over my head, as you do, and he said, â€œAnd now, youâ€™re the president of the University of North Florida.â€
JG: â€œI mean South Florida.â€ And I just cracked up. Youâ€™ll see that on the video of my inauguration. Thatâ€™s because thatâ€™s where he was from, is north Florida, so Jacksonville. Butâ€”God, I forget what I wasâ€”
AH: I was just talking about the transition to the Board of Trustees.
JG: Oh, okay. So then Jeb Bush gotâ€”Governor Bush, said, â€œOkay, goodbye to the Board of Regents. Weâ€™re only going to have a Board of Trustees.â€ And he set up the Board of Trustees across the university ofâ€”the whole SUS, the whole Florida State University System, period. But then there was a constitutional amendment that was filed byâ€”
AH: Oh right, it was that former governor. Yes, uhâ€”whatâ€™s his name?
JG: Heâ€”sheâ€”the daughter just ran for governor.
KH: Lawton Chiles?
JG: No, the daughter just ran forâ€”
AH: Bob Graham?
JG: Bob Graham. Andâ€”
AH: I remember now, yes.
JG: He was the one that got this through. And the constitutional amendment passed, so they had to, by law, set up a Board of Governors. And Governor Bush really didnâ€™t like that idea, so he instructed the Board of Governors to be veryâ€”to not meet as often as they might and not be as instructive as they might.
JG: So it was very mild when it got in. But we had a Board of Governors operating all by itselfâ€”I mean, a Board of Trustees operatingâ€”and youâ€™ll have to check the dates. I forget how many years, whether it was two or three years before the constitutional amendment took place.
AH: Okay. Right.
JG: And then it was very mild. I mean, nobody paid much attention.
AH: Understood. But I guess the main thing I'm thinking is that: Whatâ€™s it like having a Board of Trustees as opposedâ€”because we never had trustees. It was always a Board of Regents. What, you know, how does that differ?
JG: Oh, I loved having a Board of Trustees.
AH: It seems like it.
JG: Oh, it was so helpful. So helpful. Because, at the time, the Board of Regents seemedâ€”I wasn't a president thenâ€”appeared to be very biased to the elder universities, the two elder universities.
AH: Thatâ€™s fair to say.
JG: So the rest of our upstarts really had veryâ€”we had crumbs thrown to us. So Governor Bush said, â€œThe people that are on your Board of Trustees should enhance the institution, not the fact that the institution enhances their reputation.â€ So he put on really top-notch people on all of the boards of trustees, and some were in-state, some were out-of-state, but they were terrific people. And he staggered their terms, so we could start on a rolling basis.
And, like I said, Iâ€™ve been very fortunate to have an outstanding board. And they helped us tremendously, because many came from different backgrounds and looked at our processes, and they said, This is not effective or efficient; why donâ€™t we do this way, that way, that way. And we followed them. We followed them because they hire and fire the presidentâ€”the trustees. And theyâ€™re very involved and want to see the institution grow, and they were advocates. We never had advocates under our Board of Regents system.
JG: So it really was a wonderful change in ourâ€”in my mind. Now, other universities benefited from it in different ways, but thatâ€™s a way we benefited from it.
AH: Understood. Well, and it also seems like, with the Board of Trustees, you get different kinds of input than you mightâ€™ve gotten from the Board of Regents, because you get people from all these different backgrounds, right?
JG: And all different loyalties.
AH: Right. Right.
JG: And so, theyâ€™re toâ€”supposed to take a statewide view, but many do not. So with our trustees, they all have our back. And that really was immensely helpful. But now, the Board of Governors has increasingly become more accountable for what goes on across the whole university system. And weâ€™re working with both the trustees and the Board of Governors.
AH: Right. Okay. Fascinating. Okay, so we talked about crises, so I can leave that question out because we kind of got that one out of the way. So, public higher education of Florida is by nature somewhat political, so how important has it been to build relationships with elected officials, and how have they impacted USF? And you kind of mentioned Bill Young already, but, you know, what do you think?
JG: Bill Young was an icon that weâ€™re just so grateful and fortunate to have had his allegiance and trust. And we performed. We really performed. And I think he was pleased with what we did, because he wouldnâ€™t have given us any more if we had not achieved, so that was really excellent. Statewide, itâ€™s extremely, extremely important to connect with our legislative officials. And itâ€™s also importantâ€”also on theâ€”even when the BP oil spill occurred, and our research vessels were out, day one, with our students, fingerprinting the oil, finding different spouts that were coming up, and BP was saying, â€œNo, itâ€™s not ours.â€ We said, Oh, yes it is.
And so you have these discoveries that occurred, but whatâ€™s important about that is when it came down to rewarding those that had made these findings, we needed people in Congress and Washington, DC, to help us. So having a presence in DC is very important, but having a very strong presence in Tallahassee is uber important.
AH: Right. Right. So, as president, how do you balance the many diverse priorities of the university? Seems like thereâ€”itâ€™sâ€”I mean, I've heard some people say that you can almost have two presidents, one for the campus and one for everything else. It just seems like thereâ€™s a lot going on. How do you balance it all?
JG: Well, thereâ€™s a lot going on, but we donâ€™t have that muchâ€”I reallyâ€”I don't recommend having a separate person thatâ€™s involved, two presidents. I just donâ€™t. You usually have two presidents or two leaders when you have 16 campuses all over. So youâ€™d have 16 branch campuses or something like that; we just have two. And oneâ€™s 40 minutes away, and oneâ€™s an hour away, so, to me, that is aâ€”we donâ€™t need the expense of aâ€”
AH: No. And I'm not suggesting that. Iâ€™m just saying, you know, it just seems like so overwhelming.
JG: Well, there is a lot, but you do have your priorities. And the key, to me, for my leadership styleâ€”I like strong senior vice presidents around me. Smarter than I am, really go-getters that are good, accomplished people, and then they know that subject area better than I, and I leave them alone. Now, I'm checking on them all the time. We meet on a weekly basis, religiously. No substitutes. So I meet with them, I talk to them. Weâ€™re on speed dial with one another. But I think that you justâ€”it is large. You canâ€™t micromanage everything, so you let them have the freedom. If theyâ€™re that good, you donâ€™t need them hanging over your head, watching what youâ€™re doing. â€œDid you write that draft properly?â€ I mean, really? Really? Do you need to do that? I donâ€™t think so.
So you need to work with your strong team around you, who you really begin to trust and know how theyâ€™re going to answer. I also believe that itâ€™s really important for leadership, as a presidentâ€”you know, presidents change about every five years, and they move on to another place. But leadership is about longevity as well, where you canâ€™t look over your shoulder and say, â€œI didnâ€™t do that. Somebody else did that.â€ No, I have to take responsibility for that.
And I think the culture of the institution begins to shape as you move in a certain direction. Itâ€™s very disruptive when peopleâ€”ambiguity causes anxiety and uncertainty. Oh, whatâ€™s the next president going to do, and how many times have I had new presidents or new provosts? And that just disrupts the flow and the energy and the expectations. Thereâ€™s certain standards that they know I will follow, and certain ones that, okay, theyâ€™ll give me advice. But I really believe that longevity, over time, is worthwhile in a strong leader.
AH: Right. Youâ€™ve demonstrated that for sure.
AH: So, letâ€™s talk about the research park for a second. That was an earlyâ€”kind of an early initiative of yours. Whatâ€”well, I mean, explain. What is a research park and why is it important for USF?
JG: Research parks were really coming into being atâ€”when I was at Ohio State, and also at State University of New York at Albany. So I could see where research parks started to grow and prosper and bring industry with faculty together to invent new ideas, new products. And I could see where our research park was very tight with medicine and engineering, so I thought, Wow, this is a perfect bio-science park. We donâ€™t have great acreage of land like many others do, but ours is co-located, which is great.
So I said to somebody that was on the search for my presidency, and she had interviewed me, and I said to herâ€”and this was Rhea Lawâ€”I said to her, â€œWe need to take that research park and really get it going. And it really should be bioengineering, bioscience in some way, and not cluttered with unrelated businesses. That whoever works at our research park also works with faculties and students so theyâ€”we integrate industry with our own culture here.â€ And I still think thatâ€™s the right way of moving. We have incubators for students that are really creative with their new startup businesses. And see who makes it, see who doesnâ€™t.
You know, ourâ€”right now, we are absolutely filled. We have no room in our research park anymore, so we have plans to build another 150,000-square-foot building that will be really very helpful with new companies coming in, working with our faculty and students. Frankly, I wish I could have built it out more through my administration, but we had really, really tough times during the Great Recession.
JG: It slowed all of us down, and we had to take a big gulp and pause. Otherwise, I could see it even being more dynamic than it is now, but itâ€™s really a great, great, great asset that we have.
AH: Well, the second building being built, it must just vindicate your, you know, your whole approach.
JG: Yeah, we have two buildings. Thatâ€™ll be a third.
AH: Oh wow, okay.
JG: A third building.
AH: Right. Yeah, so that, I mean, that just seems like it proves youâ€”how successful.
JG: We are successful, and we hope that it goes through the Board of Governors this summer so we can get started on it.
AH: Great. So now weâ€™re getting into some really exciting stuff: downtown. How did the downtown USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the Heart Institute, the whole thing, come about?
JG: We knew thatâ€”well, first of all, health and the whole world of medicine and the whole arena is one of our really, really sweet spots. Itâ€™s our strong component. Our DNA is built on health in many ways. Our first students started in 1960, as you well know, and Sam Gibbons, the father of USF, had gone to then-president Kennedy and talked to him about this university having a VA. You canâ€™t have a VA without a med school. Got this whole area started. So the VA and the med school were built in the â€™60s and opened up in the â€™70s, soâ€”
AH: So youâ€™re right. Itâ€™s sort of in our DNA. The medicalâ€”
JG: It is, yeah. Medicalâ€”
AH: â€”medical stuff. Right. And we were just talking about downtown.
JG: So what happened was, we could see that our buildings for our med school wereâ€”an infrastructure was no longer the best teaching methodology(??). Itâ€™s not just a methodology, itâ€™s theâ€”the structure wasnâ€™tâ€”we were outdated. We were just getting outdated. And as we brought in a new dean of medicine at the time, he said, â€œWe really need a new building and a new clinic area.â€ And we started putting that on our PECO list, our state funding request list, as a very high priority.
And very fortunate to beâ€”it didnâ€™t take much to be convincing as we showed our facilities around to those that were making the decision. They could see it was really in need ofâ€”not even an upgrade, we were in need of a new building. So it was Speaker Weatherfordâ€”Will Weatherfordâ€”that was speaker of the [Florida] House. And he liked the idea of building a new med school with a heart health, which is our number-one killer in America, very large in Florida as well. So he was the one that gave us that jump start.
AH: Right. And then how did it get moved downtown?
JG: Well, we actually had a mini-groundbreaking atâ€”on the Tampa campus, up in north Tampa. But it became a possibility after Jeff Vinik came and started to think about development of downtown, how this could be so synergistic, and contacted the University of South Florida, contacted me, and said, â€œWould you be willing to have a medical school be located downtown near your major teaching hospital? When you do any research on this, any data, youâ€™ll find that the top 100 colleges of medicine are co-located with their major teaching hospital.â€ Only three were not, and we were one of the three.
So we looked at this very carefully. We could see the dynamic vision that Jeff Vinik had, and how he was going to transform downtown. It seemed like a naturalâ€”and so we got permission from Morsani, Frank Morsani, who is the donor for the Morsani College of Medicine. He thought it was a great idea, Speaker Weatherford thought it was a great idea, the dean did, and I did, so we all said, Letâ€™s talk aboutâ€”and the board agreedâ€”the Board of Trustees agreed, we should move it downtown. Which is a very good decision.
AH: Absolutely. And, well, thereâ€™s just so muchâ€”I feel like that between Vinik and USF, this flare has gone up downtown, and itâ€™s justâ€”the transformation that people have been waiting for, for a long time, in downtown Tampa is finally happening. And that, itâ€™s amazing that USF is a part of that, and such an integral part of it, that some people sayâ€”like one of the big what-ifs of the Tampa area is, what if, once upon a time, Sam Gibbons met with the president of UT [University of Tampa], and said, â€œWhy donâ€™t we make you the next state university,â€ you know?
JG: They did.
AH: Yes, and theyâ€”of course, you know, they had their reasons not to. Butâ€”which was largely aâ€”
JG: Mark, uhâ€”
JG: â€”Greenberg wrote that as one his first paragraphs in the book of the 1950â€”of the 50 years.
JG: He did do that.
AH: Yes. Yeah, and theyâ€”
JG: And Sam Gibbons said, â€œIf we can all join together as one, we will be taking in diverse students.â€ And they voted no.
AH: Right. Yeah, they were not integrated at the moment.
JG: They wereâ€”
AH: Right. Soâ€”but the big what-if is, what if they said yes? And at the time the downtown was going downhill so much, you would have had a brand-new university building downtown. And now itâ€™s finally happening, you know. It seems like itâ€™s finally happening in a way, which makes it so exciting because it seems like itâ€™s something that shouldâ€™ve happened to begin with, almost.
JG: And your point is so well taken because I hope, if you have a moment, that you can go back and look at this May commencement. We gave a presidential medallion to Jeff Vinik, and he spoke for about three or four minutes, and he talked about this. I donâ€™t know if you heard that or not.
AH: No, I didnâ€™t know, yeah.
JG: He said, â€œYou know, I tell my children, growing up, â€˜We canâ€™t be with you all the time,â€™ you know, you get babysitters, whatever, but, â€˜Make good choices.â€™â€ Make good choices. You know, as they grow up, itâ€™s no different. You have to make good choices. And the partners that you choose will reflect upon you. And this is all in the commencement, beginning of the commencement, that he was honored at. And he said he really knew right away that the University of South Florida has the reputation and the integrity to beâ€”he wanted to be associated with USF, so it was, for him, a no-brainer, and it also helps fuel the downtown.
JG: Get it going with young people. Get it going with new ideas, smart, fresh ideas, and the best practices. And itâ€™s worked for both of us, incredibly well.
AH: Right, definitely. Yeah, itâ€™s justâ€”out of all the things that are going onâ€”
JG: Look at his speech, because it was really good.
AH: I will.
JG: Really good.
AH: We already talked a little bit about todayâ€™s fabulous news about the Honors College. So I think weâ€™ve kind of covered this, but you and your family have been generous to USF and its students, and I think you covered why and how you helped. We kind of talked about that. Is there anything you want to add?
JG: Just follow Frank Morsaniâ€™s advice. First, you learn, then you earn, then you return. And return in any way that you can, whether itâ€™s through your tireless efforts in volunteerism or your help in some way mentoring students, whatever. Or you return through financial matters, or in some way or another, return to help others.
AH: Thatâ€™s great. I havenâ€™t heard that saying before. Thatâ€™s great. With many recent large gifts to the university, besides your own, such as from the Mumas, the Morsanis, development is flourishing at USF. So how have you helped to cultivate this level of philanthropy here at USF over the years? Because it seems like weâ€™re on a roll. What is it?
JG: Well, I think as Iâ€™ve lookedâ€”Iâ€™ve always been a part of a giving family and helping others, because they started from nothing. So the grateful folks want to always give back. Most of the time, they do. At least we do. We do. But you have to teach it. Itâ€™s very important toâ€”you know, we give to students to study abroad and travel abroad, but then, whatâ€™s so nice is both USF World, through Roger Brindley, and the Honors College, through the dean, [Charles] Adams, will have each student put one page together with their photo and a little written thank-you note. Where did they travel, where did they go, and what did this mean to them? How did they give back? So you start early on, and you start teaching: You need to give back. You need to give back when youâ€™re able to.
AH: So, we talked about this a little bit, in the sense that before it was a numbers gameâ€”how many students can you bring in? Now, itâ€™s how many can you graduate? USFâ€™s been very purposeful in its efforts to enhance student success. Why is this important to you? And I think we know what prompted the new focus, because the metrics all changed, right?
JG: Yes, but we got started on it before the metrics changed. When my veryâ€”in the year 2001 to 2002, again, I thought being a presidential intern was one of the most fabulous years of my life. I learned so much. So I also wanted to give that opportunity to others, and one of the people that applied for the American Council on Education fellowship from the University of Memphis was Ralph Wilcox, who became my fellow for the year. And he did a really, really good jobâ€”not just following me and shadowing me, but also he had projects on his own that he would initiate. Heâ€™s always been metrically oriented, so that really got started through his efforts.
Again, when you bring smart people around you and leave them alone, theyâ€™ll follow self-initiating projects. That really came from his interest in starting to develop databases, and following his fellowship year, his trajectory was one where he had various different roles, learning opportunities, but he always developed more and more of the metrics. So that was really an ongoing strategy. But also, our strategic plansâ€”every strategic plan we had was not something that you put on a shelf. We followed them. And they were metrically accountable for not only the large goal, but the objectives under each one of those goals.
So the way Iâ€™ve structured my leadership is, with senior vice presidents, which are over the major divisions of the University of South Florida, I say to them, in medicine, â€œWhat are your stretch goals? What do you think you can do?â€ Which one of those goals is broad enough that Iâ€™ll put into my evaluation and my goals? So my goals are the same as the dean of medicineâ€™s goals, are the same as his superviseesâ€™. So if he doesnâ€™t make the goal, I donâ€™t get the reward, but neither does he.
So all of us work together in each of those areas. And the areas are typically research; academic and student success, both at the undergrad and grad level; medical, which has medical and health; regional institutions, but theyâ€™re also academic research. We always have something about service and being part of the community, engagement with the community, and having rewards. And the global nature is a part of it as well. And finally, itâ€™s fundraising. And it can be fundraising from the legislature, it can be fundraising from private donors. Itâ€™s enhancing resources, is a better way of saying it. And those goals have been the same, with different wording around them, for the 19 years. So itâ€™s kept us on a very focused path.
AH: It seems likeâ€”itâ€™s interesting that your, with the help of Dr. Wilcox, got ahead of the curve, in the sense that you started with the student success before the metrics changed. But it was also that USF also did have, it seemed like at the time, an unshakeable reputation as, like, â€œYou Stay Forever.â€ And you change your majors so many times, et cetera, thatâ€”so it seems very proactive to take that on before the legislature kind of tamed it.
JG. Brought it down. Youâ€™re right. Well, the other part is that, as a large campus, we needed to have more residence halls. We neededâ€”the number of beds that we have, given our size, is still lower than our counterparts. Now we have whatâ€™s called around us â€œresimuters.â€ In other words, they live withinâ€”across the street, they just walk over, and theyâ€™re part of the university. And some of those apartments areâ€”we have a linkage with them, so weâ€™ll put some graduate students in there to help them program in an apartment setting. Itâ€™s a private apartment setting, but theyâ€™ve become our companion. And we will refer our students, if weâ€™re full, weâ€™ll refer them to those companion apartments first, before others.
But I say all this because we know that freshmen, particularly, that live on campus perform better in their academic studies, graduate sooner, and have a happier experience with their undergraduate experience because they connect. They connect. And having this view of a commuter campus is not healthy for a research university like ours. So we started putting resources into establishing more residence halls, not only on the Tampa campus but in St. Petersburg.
AH: Yeah, it seemed likeâ€”were a couple of these underway when you arrived? Am I right in thinking that some of those were just startingâ€”
JG: Some of those were underway. The Holly apartments were underway, and I think Magnolia was underway.
AH: But since then thereâ€™s been so much more. Juniperâ€”
JG: Since then weâ€™ve taken down some very mature residence halls thatâ€”you couldnâ€™t paint them anymore. It was too far gone. So weâ€™ve taken down a number of beds and built more. And for a while, we were permitted to have a rule that you have to live on campus if youâ€™re a freshman. Of course, there are exceptionsâ€”if youâ€™re a veteran and you come back with a family, you donâ€™t need to live on campus. But that really started to change the nature of the campus population.
And also, we had to up our programming. Iâ€™ve worked hard with Student Affairs to say, â€œWhat are you doing on weekends? What kind of activities are you having at night? What kind of activities are you having through the day? Â How are youâ€â€”if theyâ€™re on campus, you have to have good, solid, healthy activities, and meaningful ones. And so we started to upgrade our activities and also our food facilities, making sure that our food facilities were notâ€”were very good.
JG: Were very good. And so, making sure that we worked with Aramarkâ€”that was our contractor at the time and still isâ€”that they were upgrading us all the time. And I always had what I called â€œlunch and learns,â€ where Iâ€™d sit with undergraduate students once a month, graduate students once a month, and faculty and staff once a month. But Iâ€™d say, â€œThis is your time to tell me how you think the University of South Florida is progressing. What can we do to make things better for you?â€
And Iâ€™d hear themes. So I started hearing themes in Tampa about the food not being up to snuff. It would be good when visitors were around, but during the rest of the week it wasnâ€™t good. So we started really clamping down on that. Textbook affordability was another item. I did that in Sarasota, and they said the food facility was really bad. So, anyway, Iâ€™d start to hear themes. You know, itâ€™s changing the culture that makes a big difference.
AH: Right. Yeah, I know the textbook affordability thingâ€™s been very popular. Being in the library, I hear a lot about it.
JG: Iâ€™m sure you do.
AH: So, thereâ€™s been a philosophical shift in higher education toward a more outcome-driven mission. I guess weâ€™ve been talking about metrics for a while now, but what has this shift meant for USF, and how has it impacted us and our students?
JG: Itâ€™s been a wonderful initiative for USF. Fabulous initiative. Because itâ€™s really put a focus on the right values ofâ€”you have a responsibility, once your student has come into the university, then itâ€™s not about sorting them out. Itâ€™s about supporting them to be successful. That is a huge difference. And as you know, in the library, youâ€™ve just transformed the library so it is supportive for the students. And it is the busiest building on campus. It is absolutely bursting at the seams.
AH: It is.
JG: But itâ€™s so good. Itâ€™s so good, and itâ€™s run so well. Thank you. But I just think it has turned us around to even be more efficient, more caring about the students that come in. And itâ€™s not just faculty, itâ€™s everybody that cares about the students, whether itâ€™s the groundskeepers or the traffic folks. And if they see somebody sleeping in the car, theyâ€™ll go over and say, â€œAre you all right? Do you have a home? Is there something that we can do to help you?â€ And setting things up like that, itâ€™s really important.
AH: USF is becoming more and more of a leader in veterans affairs, too, right?
AH: Thatâ€™s a hugeâ€”
JG: Absolutely. Weâ€™ve been ranked one or two most veteran-friendly in the country. And weâ€™re really proud of it. Because of the states where veterans retire, there are three popular states for veterans, or for military, to retire. Thatâ€™s California, Texas, and Florida. So weâ€™re very pro-veterans, helping them achieve all they can achieve.
AH: Right. Athletics: thatâ€™s a whole nother universe for USF. A lot of things have happened under your tenure. I mean, thereâ€™s been Big East, and nowâ€”what is theâ€”
JG: American. American Athletic Conference.
AH: Right. So howâ€”tell me about how did the USF academics and athletics work together? And how is athletics, really, itâ€™s been unprecedented as far as just the amount of exposure weâ€™ve gotten nationally. Tell us a little bit about that.
JG: Athletics is a front-door appearance for universities. Many people who give to universities have learned about the university through athletics. But they donâ€™t necessarily give to athletics, they give to other places as well. Or maybe totally. â€œWhat is the University of South Florida? I hadnâ€™t heard about it before.â€ So itâ€™s a very big PR, branding value. Of course, I like to win more than lose, so if you have a winning team, thatâ€™s terrific. But you can see students then look at the university to say, Oh, is this a place I want to study at, come to?
And you know, when you look at the big, influential universities, they all have really good sports programs. So when youâ€™re attracting faculty, they come with a sports interest. Let me give you an example. So we have our tremendous dean of medicine, Charly Lockwood. He came from Ohio State. Heâ€™s very interested, and heâ€™s a National Academy [of Medicine] scholar. The other National Academy scholarâ€”which, these scholars are very rare and very hardâ€”came from UCLA. Theyâ€™re interested in sports of all kinds, so it becomes a point of pride and spirit. It gives you a different identityâ€”youâ€™re a Bull. You know, donâ€™t come around this campus without having Bulls on. So I think sports are very, very important to university pride and spirit and donations and all the rest.
AH: Yeah. The amount of publicity, even in a failed season where we come close, is amazing. You hear so much more from people hearing about USF who wouldnâ€™t have. And I wonder if there are people who are local and just sort of, you know, on the fence, donâ€™t care, then they see it on TV and itâ€™s like, hey, wait a minute. Thatâ€™s my hometown place, thatâ€™s pretty cool.
JG. Or thatâ€™s my alma mater, Iâ€™m going to go back and see whatâ€™s going on.
JG: So weâ€™ve reconnected. And donâ€™t forget that sportsâ€”they donâ€™t careâ€”sports crosses all gender, race, socioeconomic [lines], it doesnâ€™t matter. Everybody can get involved in sports if theyâ€™re interested. And so we have 19 sports, so we coverâ€”not quite the gamut, but we cover a lot of sports. So somebody that might love baseball may not like tennis. I donâ€™t know, just making that up, but we have it all. And thatâ€™s exciting.
AH: Okay, so we talked about the Honors Collegeâ€”
JG: Let me tell you something else about sports. Itâ€™s an economic engine. You know, when we were able to host the college [football] playoffsâ€”so you have a stadium, Raymond James, thatâ€™s what, 75,000, holds about 75,000 people. They came from two different segments of the United States en masse. The place was jammed. You cannot host a national championship if youâ€™re not NCAA Division I. We hosted that. The University of South Florida was the host to have that. That brings the economic development. So every time you have playoffs in baseball or softball or whatever, it brings up the economy.
AH: Right. Absolutely.
AH: Just another aspect of the engine weâ€™re talking about.
JG: Right. Womenâ€™s Final Four. Here it was, here in Tampa. But it was hosted by USF. It was sponsored by USF, in a sense.
AH: So, one thing we didnâ€™t talk about was the pharmacy college.
AH: So, tell us a little bit about that. That wasâ€”
JG: That was very interesting, and I wish you would doâ€”if you could find out, Iâ€™d be very curious.
AH: Of course.
JG: I donâ€™t remember exactly the year, but an anonymous donorâ€”I would say after my fourth, fifth, six year, I donâ€™t knowâ€”an anonymous donor decided to give some national universities that had women presidents a gift of a million dollars to be used in a way the president believed it would be useful, and then 2 million that was to go for diverse students. So 2 million, I believe, was earmarked for diverse student scholarships, and 1 million was to be used at the discretion of the university president.
So I decidedâ€”and I still donâ€™t know who that donor is, I still donâ€™t know where that money, I really donâ€™t, and if you could find that out, that would be great. But we know that the check came out of a bank in Arizona, but we donâ€™t know anything more than that. So wow, a million dollars. I think it was before the recession, if Iâ€™m not mistaken. What can we do? Well, because of our sweet spot being health, a college of pharmacy would be a great addition, we all agreed. So in order to do that, we put that million dollars toward starting a college of pharmacy.
If you take a million dollars, which is a lot, and you just dole some out here, here, here, and here, what do you have? Just aâ€”youâ€™ve sprinkled the lawn, but youâ€™re not making theâ€”it doesnâ€™t grow. If you really concentrate on a smaller segment, like pharmacy or a rose, and you keep feeding and growing it, it works. So thatâ€™s how we started the College of Pharmacy. And Kevin Sneed was on our faculty at the time, and that was a great, great start.
AH: How amazing is that, though, to get a giftâ€”
AH: â€”with nothingâ€”you know, like, you can put it where you want.
JG: One million, no tie. It used to be real common when you give a gift that you give it to the university at its discretion. Nowadays, you give it earmarked, very often.
AH: Right, understood. So I thought if we have a little more time, we could take a victory lap and talk about some of your, a few of your accomplishments.
AH: So, letâ€™s see here. Just going to go over some of the highlights here.
JG: Have I missed anything?
KH: No, I think this is all great.
AH: Yeah, absolutely.
JG: But I did change another culture at the university, if you have time.
AH: Oh, please, please.
JG: You have to have time.
JG: When I came hereâ€”and you know my reputation, and I did something today Iâ€™ll tell you aboutâ€”I was coming from Wisconsin. Madison. Big loyalty. Ohio State, big loyalty. Albany was not known for any sports. It was really known for the New York Times. It just wasnâ€™t, they didnâ€™t reallyâ€”and I missed that kind of spirit. So I came here, and I saw groundskeepers wearing other university hats, shirts of all kinds, students walking around with all different Florida institutions.
And Iâ€™m walking around thinking, Whatâ€™s this all about? Where is our pride? Where is our spirit? So I went to the bookstore, and I started packing my trunk of my car with hats, shirts, everything, any kind of paraphernalia. And if Iâ€™d see it, I would go to the car and get a shirt and say, â€œI donâ€™t want youâ€”I want you to wear this hat. Can I have the one youâ€™re wearing?â€ And then the coaches all had cars, and they didnâ€™t have a USF license plate on their cars. And I said, â€œIâ€™m not giving you any stipend or whatever. Weâ€™re not going to rent the car for you unless you get a USF license. And I need to see it.â€ Because you donâ€™t expect what you donâ€™t inspect. You have to inspect what you expect.
So over time, I donâ€™t know how many different shirts you see, like you used to. And we got uniforms for our groundskeepers and all the rest. But today weâ€™re going from the Board of Trustees meeting, and in the golf cartâ€”it was a large oneâ€”trustee Zimmerman, the chair of our board; trustee Ramil; there were other trustees; my husband. And I saw a different shirt. And I said, â€œStop.â€
And I got out and ran after this young woman that had a different shirt on, and I said, â€œHi. Are you a student here?â€ And she said, â€œNo, Iâ€™m not.â€ And I said, â€œOh, well, this is the University of South Florida campus. You donâ€™t wear that here. Can you turn this inside out, so you donâ€™t show this other university?â€ And she said, â€œOh, Iâ€™m on my way. Iâ€™m leaving.â€ And I said, â€œGood. Thank you. Youâ€™re always welcome here, but not in that shirt.â€
AH: You didnâ€™t have your shirts with you, either, did you?
JG: I did not. Thatâ€™s why I told her to turn it inside out. So to this dayâ€”
JG: â€”donâ€™t come across me wearing different shirts.
AH: Now, Bulls Countryâ€”did that start under your tenure, or was it earlier?
JG: It was my tenure. But it was just somebody from the public relations group that went around, and he would give out Bulls Country ________(??). He did that religiously, went out and did the Bulls Country.
JG: But as people changed that headed up the public relations, they didnâ€™t seem to like Bulls Country, so they tried to change it back.
AH: I think itâ€™s kind of announced what you were saying, though, you know. Itâ€™s likeâ€”
JG: Well, that helped. It actually helped.
AH: There were a lot of businessesâ€”I saw it everywhere.
JG: Yeah, I didnâ€™t have any objection to Bulls Country, but somebody did.
AH: Okay, understood.
JG: So I wanted to tell you that this part of changing the culture takes time, takes time. And they would come to some of our faculty-staff pregame events, where we were paying, theyâ€™d come in with all these different getups on. And I said, â€œWeâ€™re not going to let them in unless they have USF shirts.â€ Or be plainâ€”Iâ€™m notâ€”wear a solid color. Just donâ€™t wear the opponentsâ€™ shirts or a different shirt. Just donâ€™t.
AH: Itâ€™s a reasonable request. Iâ€™m glad I wore the right shirt today.
JG: Thatâ€™s for sure. You know, they did this at the University of Michiganâ€”did I tell you this? It was a new president, and he came from one of the Ivy Leagues, and all of his kids went to the Ivy Leagues. So he wore a University of Michigan shirt at one of the football games, but the kids and the wife came in with Yale and Princeton shirts and all these. They were almost booed out of town.
KH: You canâ€™t do that.
JG: He told me that experience. He said they never wore another shirt again.
KH: Iâ€™m sure.
AH: Wow. So I was just going to go through a few of these accomplishments. Joining the Big East. We kind of covered that. You know, the other thing that occurred to me when you were talking about Lee Roy Selmonâ€”thereâ€™s very few you could compare him to in the community as far as just kind of having that cultural capital, I guess. So, was he integral in getting us into the Big East?
JG: I believe he was. I believe he was, absolutely, along with others. But heâ€™s such a statesperson. He made such a good impression, such a good impact on others. He was wonderful, just wonderful.
AH: Really was. So we talked about the research park that opened in 2005â€”the patent wall, the research park. Today weâ€™re the fifth-leading public university in generating new US utility patents.
AH: Twelfth among universities worldwide.
JG: Correct. And donâ€™t forget the National Academy of Inventors that was started by Paul Sanberg here. And that has grown into a very, very prestigious organization where Nobel Prize winners are a part of it. They all hear about USF. And National Academy scholarsâ€”itâ€™s really a big, big enterprise now. Very exciting.
AH: Itâ€™s just amazing to see this stuff because, you know, I think when, earlier on in your tenure you were talking about the top 50 in five, something like that. But itâ€™s all happened, really. When you look at all these different metrics.
JG: Weâ€™ve got to keep it moving, though. Weâ€™ve got to keep it moving.
AH: Right. Of course. So tell us about the Women in Leadership & Philanthropy. You started that in 2005.
JG: Right. You know, and again, it comes from my background of experience whereâ€”when I was at Ohio State, women from all different disciplines would get together, and some were saying, Oh, thereâ€™s a big fundraising campaign going on. But if we want to give to womenâ€™s issues, you either give to womenâ€™s studies, which didnâ€™t match some of the interests of a lot of the other women. They said, We need a fund of some sort where we can make a difference for women.
So we started at Ohio State a program called the Critical Difference for Women program. And it took off like crazy. It was really very, very successful. So when I left to go to Albany, I started the Initiatives for Women program there. That took off. Then when I came here, and Women in Leadership & Philanthropy got started. And itâ€™s taken off like gangbusters, which is terrific. So it is something that we know women are philanthropists and they give to others. You might have to get them involved more. They wonâ€™t just sit and write a check if you ask them. They want you toâ€”whatâ€™s it all about? How can I be moreâ€”once you get them involved in the planning and everything, then they start to give.
So itâ€™s a different type of philanthropy, but the women make such a difference here at USF. And the programs are only for women at USF. So itâ€™s students, faculty, staff, and there are scholarships for them, thereâ€™s mentoring programs and really educational programs. Theyâ€™re phenomenal. And once a year, a big luncheon, over a thousand people come, and there are speakers that are incredible, incredible.
One of the other items that has made a significant differenceâ€”because you think, if you want a really top-notch university, what do you need? Outstanding faculty and staff. Outstanding students, because outstanding faculty and staff want brilliant, good students to work with. So you have great faculty, great students. Infrastructureâ€”if you have the best heart, cardiac person in the world, if they donâ€™t have the machinery to work on, work with, they canâ€™t do their work. So the kind of construction that weâ€™ve had on all of our University of South Florida campuses has been dramatic.
AH: Very much so.
JG: Veryâ€”I hear very frequently from alums, I donâ€™t recognize the campus. I donâ€™t recognize the campus anymore. Because it wasâ€”this particular campus was an airstrip, right? It was an orchard for a while, then they used it in World War II as an airstrip.
AH: Yeah, the airstrip was just south of here. This was the bombing range.
JG: The bombing range. Thank you for correcting me. So it was no trees, nothing. Nothing. So we took it upon ourselves. Environment enhances learning. Plant a thousand trees a year, if you can. Build buildings that are really very futuristic, in a sense, but also warm and inviting. And again, the library has done a magnificent job of that. People just make appointments for Christmastime, and it might be summer, for some of the small rooms that you have, the seminar rooms. Build things that will enhance the learning. And I think thatâ€™s what weâ€™ve tried to do.
AH: Definitely. So the 50th anniversaryâ€”you kind of pulled out all the stops to celebrate it, and thereâ€™s even the book, et cetera, which I had the real pleasure of working on. So do you want to tell us just a little bit aboutâ€”I mean, you were only here for a few years, well, I guess it was 2006, so youâ€™d been here for a little while. You want to say anything about that?
JG: That was very, very, very special. That was a real highlight.
AH: And bringing back the other presidents, too.
JG: Yes, bringing back the presidents was great, and I think I have a photo of Grace Allen, the first presidentâ€™s wife, at the time, and Betty Castor and myself. Well, I know I have that picture. Iâ€™m tryingâ€”it was the 50th. It was the 50th. And I really feel fortunate that Iâ€™ve been able to meet so many of the creators of the time, because their memories are amazing.
JG: Grace Allen at 99 could remember dates and detail more than I could ever imagine. It was just terrific. And so it was really wonderful. But we really wanted to celebrate big-time. Itâ€™s a marker. Itâ€™s a really significant marker. And I think the 75th will be.
AH: Oh, absolutely. I can tell you, just the oral histories, all the oral histories that were done are used a lot. The history book, et cetera, I think we had to buy more copies because it kept disappearing from the library, which isnâ€™t a bad sign.
JG: Well, you did an amazing job.
AH: Well, it was only because of the support that we got from you. But it wasâ€”for me, I learned more than half the stuff I know about USF was just doing that project.
JG: Well, you correct some of my memories, then, as Iâ€”I donâ€™t remember everything precisely, but you can correct.
AH: Of course. Letâ€™s see. We talked about residence halls. Residence Hall One opened up at USF-St. Pete in 2006, and then the student center in 2012â€”
JG: With another residence hall there.
AH: Right. Yeah, third residence hall, there we go, 375 beds.
JG: And now thereâ€™ll be a 375-bed residence hall going up in St. Pete.
AH: Right. Okay, thatâ€™s it, right. So yeah, so St. Pete is about toâ€”it seems to me like the branch campuses are kind of positioned the same way the main campus was when you arrived, like theyâ€™re about to take off, I feel.
JG: Theyâ€”actually, St. Pete, yes. We have to get theirâ€”because of the law that says we must consolidate, their metrics need to come up. But the expense of living in [the] St. Petersburg area is so high. Itâ€™s not affordable housing for students. So building more res halls will be very beneficial to them. And Sarasota also wants to build a residence hall, because it changes the whole nature of the campus.
AH: Absolutely. So, yes, it seems like those are set up to really, you know, prosper in the future because of everything thatâ€™s happened here. But the Crosley Center opened in 2006, 100,000 square foot of USF-Manatee, you know, built basically a new campus down there, more or less.
JG: We did.
AH: And thatâ€™s all a big part of it.
JG: Betty Castor had purchased the land, so the land was ours. That was not quite adjacent, but very close. So we just built the campus, built the building down there.
AH: Right. Two-thousand-seven, construction begins on CW Bill Young Hall, home to the Joint Military Leadership Center. So this houses the ROTC programs, and he sponsored a $6 million federal grant to help fund the center.
AH: Do you want to say anything else about that?
JG: He was terrific. I had, as my adviser, Tommy Franksâ€”General Franks. That was most unusual. And he said, â€œYou can really be unique and have a niche in ROTC if you make this joint. You can come in Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines; however, the courses need to be taught together, and you need to respect each otherâ€™s disciplines because theyâ€™re very siloed. And theyâ€™re competitors, but theyâ€™reâ€â€”uh, â€œco-opetition.â€ Theyâ€™re competitors, but theyâ€™re also cooperative.
And he said, â€œYou know, youâ€™re over in, whatever, Afghanistan or whateverâ€”Desert Storm. You donâ€™t care which helicopter it is from whichâ€”whether itâ€™s Army, Navy, Air Force, or whatever, you just need to be saved. And we need to help our American troops, so do this joint project.â€ And thatâ€™s what we did. And it still is a joint thatâ€™s unique and very well respected.
AH: The new Phyllis Marshall Center opened in 2008. Did you get to meet Phyllis?
JG: I did.
AH: Yes, because she passed a few years after you arrived.
JG: I did. I did. I did. And I have to tell you something thatâ€”
JG: â€”you might want to know. Thereâ€”I really enjoyed her, and I feel privileged to know, like I said, a lot of these pioneers. When she passed away, there was a big dinner in the Marshall Student Center, named after her, and her relatives came. She didnâ€™t have anyâ€”I donâ€™t think she ever married or had children, but she had a sisterâ€”whateverâ€”she had siblings. The siblings spoke, and they said, that one day, early in the morning after a rain, they came with Phyllisâ€™ ashes and put them under the topiary bull.
JG: Because they couldnâ€™t think of a more appropriate setting for what Phyllis would have wanted.
AH: Thatâ€™s amazing.
JG: And my husband heard it, others have heard it, so I'm not just making it up.
JG: And I will never forget that. My eyes opened up like golf balls. Wow.
AH: I know. Well, itâ€™s interesting, for someone who was never a faculty member, she was so committed to the students and to the university.
AH: Just an amazing lady. And thatâ€™s, you know, why sheâ€™s so, stillâ€”
AH: â€”so respected today. Exactly.
AH: So, here, weâ€™re in our final stretch here. So, yeah, you served a one-year term as chair of the board of the American Council on Education, placing USF at the heart of national discussion on the importance of higher education and scientific research. It represents more than 1,700 college and university presidents. Andâ€”okay, and then this is theâ€”we talked about you getting the award several years later. So what was it like serving on that? It mustâ€™ve been really amazing to get the award after serving on it, too.
JG: It was terrific. And I really valued that tremendously. I had been very active. Iâ€™m active nationally and always have been active nationally. I enjoy that because it gives a different perspective. Youâ€™re so ingrained in what you do every day, and in Florida politics, and Florida this and Florida that, you need to need to see whatâ€™s on the horizon globally, or state and nationally. And soâ€”and you meet new people. Iâ€™m a people person, as you all know.
So setting up relationships and calling others and getting advice from others and, â€œWhat are we going to do about this? Whatâ€™re you going to do about that? And youâ€™ve had other crises thatâ€”how did you deal with this? How did this president deal with that?â€ Thatâ€™s really invaluable. So serving as the lead, that was exhilarating. It was really a wonderful, wonderful year. As was, being the first woman to chair NCAA Division I. That was reallyâ€”and thatâ€™s when the Penn State debacle occurred.
JG: So those are not easy times. But luckily, on the national level, the people that were the CEOs were very competent. So Molly Broad was the CEO of ACE [American Council on Education] at that time. And Mark Emmert had just started the first year, and I had just started, so we muddled through togetherâ€”through that. But those are really very big highlights to me.
AH: Right. Absolutely. Then thereâ€™s Interdisciplinary Sciences Building, LEED certified, opened in 2011.
JG: Donâ€™t forget, we started the Florida Center for Cybersecurity. We started theâ€”I christened the Bill Hogarth ship. We started a physicianâ€™s assistants program, [and] now the Honors College. Physical therapy had gotten started, I think, maybe a year before I started.
AH: Yeah, and CAMLS.
JG: Yeah, CAMLS. Downtown.
AH: The Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation.
JG: Right. There are about twoâ€”not quite $2 billion of construction across the USF system.
AH: Right. What, during your time here?
JG: Musicâ€”yeahâ€”music building, all Steinway pianos.
AH: Right. And, actually, a friend of mine is a piano technicianâ€”rebuilds pianos. Heâ€™s one of the only guys who can do a lot of this work in the area, and he said we got great instruments, soâ€”
JG: They all have their personality, from what I've learned. And those that are pianistsâ€”I think thatâ€™s the proper way of pronouncing it: pianistâ€”they play different ones and â€œThis is mine. This feels justâ€”â€
AH: Yes, well he just got a call. He got a call from Dick Hyman.
JG: Yes, yes, yes.
AH: The jazz guy who just played at WUSF, and he said, â€œThat piano was amazing.â€ And he had just tuned it earlier that day for him, and he was over the moon because, I mean, heâ€™s never had, you know, a jazz great tell him how good of a jobâ€”
KH: Thatâ€™s cool.
AH: But so the Steinwaysâ€”
JG: Kind of like your computers, maybe, that you can justâ€”I donâ€™t know. Thereâ€™s something aboutâ€”theyâ€™re all Steinways and theyâ€™re all handmade. Iâ€™ve been through the factory.
AH: The Yuengling Centerâ€”well, the Sun Dome reopened as the Yuengling Center in 2012. That was after almost $36 million worth of renovations. But that was a big expansion too, right? A lot of new athletic facilities in there as well?
AH: Yeah, and also, 2013, we joined the athleticsâ€”American Athletic Conference. Letâ€™s see, we have $10 million to USF St. Pete from Kate Tiedemann?
AH: Right. And thatâ€™s the same year as Pam and Les Muma, with their $25 million, which is the single largest individual gift in USF history. Itâ€™s amazing.
JG: Which one? The 20â€”
AH: The 25 million.
JG: That Mumas gave.
AH: Right. And that was for the College of Business. And that makes their total giving, up to that time, at $41.2 million. Of course, Jordan Zimmerman, who was an alumnus from 1980, donated $10 million to advertising and mass communications. These last few years are just aâ€”one after another. Barry Collier, also 1980, and his wife donated $10.85 million to name another unit within the Muma College of Business. The College of Business is on fire right now. You care to say anything about the College of Business?
JG: Well, I think we have a very dynamic dean, and that helps because itâ€™s all about relationships. But also, itâ€™s a veryâ€”now itâ€™s a very relevant time where applied, you know, a lot of businesses are looking for projects, and they want to make sure that the students are part of those projects, and so they just start connecting. And I think that most of our university is very appliedâ€”we do some bench research, but not as much as applied. And I think thatâ€™s good, especially being in our location.
AH: Eduventures ranked USF as the nationâ€™s top performer in overall student success, which would have been unthinkable before your tenure.
JG: Number one in Latino graduation and success and six for, I think, African Americans. I think itâ€™s sixth. But the first in Florida.
AH: Yeah, itâ€™s just, you know, itâ€™s unimaginable before your tenure. Because thereâ€™s just no way. A $5 million gift from Lynn Pippenger.
JG: Pippenger. Thatâ€™s at the St. Pete campus, but she gave 10 million here.
AH: I see that, right. Ten million dollars to the School of Accountancy of the Muma College. Wow. Twenty-seventeen, reached the $1 billion fundraising goal. Eight hundred people gathered at Amalie Arena to celebrate. So yeah, and I guessâ€”you care to comment on these big fundraising goals? Because you get a lot of heavyweight donors, but then you also harness, well, the employees of the university, alumnus, et cetera.
AH: I mean, I've been a big part of the USF Faculty and Staff Campaign for many years at the library. You care to comment on that?
JG: Well, I really think that, again, people want to give to success. Whether itâ€™s your church, whether itâ€™s your whateverâ€”the Southeast Guide Dogs, or whatever, you want to give to success and relationships, that when you give your hard-earned money, you want to make sure itâ€™s used wisely and not just frittered away. Soâ€”and thatâ€™s [an] exampleâ€”the million dollar anonymously. I didnâ€™t even know who to thank. I still donâ€™t.
But you want to give it to start something meaningful and legacy. So I think that as we become more and more mature, and you have more and more pride, and you see the preeminent status and the elite status that we have, people are upping in their feelings about the university. And they can see, through the people that theyâ€™ve earmarked. I mean, I have a lot of confidence that the honorsâ€”now itâ€™s called the Judy Genshaft Honors Collegeâ€”is going to be well run. Thatâ€™s important to me.
AH: Absolutely. Letâ€™s talk about the Honors College for a second. Itâ€™s been, sort of, your baby, kind of from the beginning. Itâ€™s been something thatâ€™s been very important to you.
AH: And I get the impression, you know, all this other stuff is really important, but of course, well, especially after todayâ€™s news, the Honors College really is foremost in your mind. What is it about the Honors College? Tell us about it.
JG: Itâ€™s been a personal calling, in terms of a career focus. Iâ€™ve written books about gifted and talented students. I have books and chapters, and the research that I've doneâ€”itâ€™s all about the bright, because we find that the highly gifted are the highest number of underachieving students. Doesnâ€™t mean they donâ€™t get good grades in schoolâ€”theyâ€™re not working up to their ability, and thatâ€™s what I mean by underachieving.
And theyâ€™re so talented, and they can do so many things, oftentimes itâ€™s very hard for them to decide. Which career do I really want? I canâ€”I play music. I do this, I do that. And then theyâ€”so you really need to work with them and direct them and help them and mentor as you do anybody else. But itâ€™s just something that, I think, pays off dividends. Because, like I said, good professors love smart, wonderful students, creative students. Theyâ€™re our future. And itâ€™s not about socio-economic status. Itâ€™s not about race. Itâ€™s just bright students. And it crosses all disciplinesâ€”everything. And it crosses all campus locations. Itâ€™s justâ€”I have just found it to be very, very interesting to study this particular group.
AH: Yeah, and I've had some close colleagues in the Honors College that actually taught some courses over there.
AH: And what really struck me wasâ€”a lot of these students, you know, theyâ€™re on a fast track to medical school or whatever else, you know. So theyâ€™reâ€”their next few years are sort of already accounted for in a way. They kind of know this is the track theyâ€™re going to take. But the Honors College gives them an opportunity to explore some things as an undergrad that they never would have been able to do otherwise. So rather than go directly into, like, organic chemistry and medical study, theyâ€™re doing, like, an art exhibit, you know.
JG: Sure. Sure.
AH: Theyâ€™re doing all kinds of different stuff.
JG: They work withâ€”they work downtown with the Museum of Art. We have a relationship going. And if they take the rightâ€”and even the person that spoke this morningâ€”itâ€™s a seven-year program. You take certain courses, you get certain grades, and youâ€™re already accepted into the medical school. And you can skip a year. So itâ€™s a seven-year rather than an eight-year program. The same with Stetson Law School. So, if you know your direction, and you take the certain courses, you can bypass some stuff. But you may not want to. You may want toâ€”and having the experience of studying abroad is critical.
AH: Right. Yeah, thatâ€™s something that youâ€™ve been a big champion of as well.
JG: Oh yeah, itâ€™s just transformational.
AH: Well, you know, and I think what youâ€™re talking about too, is sort of keeping the â€œuniversalâ€ in university. You know, in a sense that even if youâ€™re going to spend the rest of your life in the medical profession or something, that doesnâ€™t mean you canâ€™t express yourself in other ways, too.
AH: And that, you know, it gives them that variety that they wouldnâ€™t otherwise ever have gotten.
JG: And thatâ€™s, again, thatâ€™s what was said this morning, by the students and by that video that was shown. So I would really recommend you look at that.
JG: All right, I think weâ€™re almost at the end.
AH: Yes, I think we are, actually. This is the last talking point, actually. A report from the National Science Foundation ranked USF 25th among public universities for research spending, a metric used to chart the level of the research activity at US institutions.
JG: Yeah, what does that mean? That means that, if you have a table with 25 seats and youâ€™re going to just select public institutions, so you would have places like University of Michigan, Ohio Stateâ€”I'm justâ€”UNC Chapel Hill, University of Washington, UCLA. USF is sitting at that table. We bring in that much research. And so, itâ€™sâ€”weâ€™re number two in the state, public or private. So UF is first and weâ€™re second. Itâ€™s pretty awesome.
AH: Itâ€™s not a bad place to be.
JG: Not a bad place to be. So itâ€™s very, very meaningful, and itâ€™s all research expenditures and what we do.
AH: Well, I really want to thank you for taking the time toâ€”
JG: My pleasure.
AH: â€”hash all this out. Andâ€”
JG: Yeah, it was good.
AH: â€”yeah, itâ€™s been a real pleasure. Thank you.
JG: Well, hope youâ€™re working on the next book.