After spending nearly two decades at the University of South Florida, System President Judy Genshaft is stepping down next year.
Genshaft made the announcement Monday morning in a letter to the USF community. She will officially step down from her post on July 1, 2019.
Genshaft became president in 2000. Since then, university officials say she has “catapulted the USF System to national and international prominence” in student success, research and innovation, fundraising and economic development.
“The University of South Florida System is on a trajectory unlike ever before in its history. We are reaching milestones once reserved for universities twice our age,” Genshaft wrote in her letter to the community. “Because of this positive momentum, my family and I believe that this is the right time for me to step down from my post as president.”
“It has been the honor of my professional career to be part of this journey since the year 2000,” she added.
A university spokesman says enrollment grew by 40 percent during Genshaft’s presidency. The four-year graduation rate also tripled, and all students are now graduating at the same rate regardless of race, ethnicity or family income.
In a news release, the university also highlighted her achievements with research. During Genshaft’s tenure, research activity tripled to more than $568 million in annual expenditures. That makes USF one of the nation’s top 30 public universities for research.
As president, Genshaft also oversaw about $1.75 billion in construction projects that gave students and faculty access to state-of-the-art resources. The projects have also played a role in “elevating the economic vitality” of the Tampa Bay area and the state, a spokesman said.
In her letter, Genshaft credits the students, faculty, staff, administration, Board of Trustees, alumni, fans and supporters for helping make the achievements possible.
“It is this community that decided, together, to push the limits of our own potential,” she said. “It is this community that will keep pushing forward as we reach greater heights of excellence.”
Genshaft also thanked the community for welcoming her and her family to Tampa Bay nearly two decades ago when she first became president.
“The impact that this community has made on me and my family cannot be overstated, and we are deeply grateful. Thank you for your support and friendship.”
The university spokesman says an update on the selection process for a new president will be announced at a later date.