To the editor:
The launch of the University Student Center Sept. 6 coincided with the end of my first month as your interim regional chancellor. I couldn’t have asked for a more fitting way to mark the occasion. The energy and enthusiasm of our students and the entire community was obvious during the ceremony, especially the flash mob of students who danced their hearts out.
I hope you are enjoying the University Student Center as much as I am. I have lost count of the number of meals I’ve had at the Reef and from the looks of things our students are enjoying it too. I plan to be there a lot, so if you see me please introduce yourself. We already have gotten feedback from students about extending the hours, so I am pleased that our partners at Sodexo will introduce “Late Night Bites” with a limited menu from 8:30 p.m. to 11p.m. daily starting Monday, Sept. 17. We’ll try this for a month to see how it goes. This is just one of a number of ways we hope to make things better for students.
The day before the launch was our popular Get On Board Day. I was impressed with the sheer number of student organizations we have and I encourage all of you to get involved. Participating in a student organization is a great way to make new friends. Who knows, these new friends could become friends for life.
As you probably know, we have more students than ever before living in university housing. Move-in day on Aug. 25 went flawlessly, despite the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac. I want to thank everyone who made this such a success.
Move-in Day was also the first time most people saw our latest symbol of Bull Pride. We are all Bulls at USF St. Petersburg and I was happy to do my part in getting a statue of a bull placed in the lobby of the University Student Center. I thank USF System President Judy Genshaft for making it happen and USFSP Student Government President Mark Lombardi-Nelson for his advocacy.
My office overlooks Bayboro Harbor, giving me a wonderful view of our waterfront. I hope all of you take advantage of the many opportunities to get out on the water. I also hope you will support our nationally ranked sailing teams, led by women’s coach Allison Jolly (a gold medal winner in the 1988 Olympics!) and our new co-ed coach, Tim King. I’m proud that USFSP will host the College National Sailing Championships in the spring.
I could go on and on about the great things happening at USFSP, including the last week’s ranking by U.S. News & World Report placing us 30th among regional universities in the South, six spots higher than last year! Our faculty and staff deserve a lot of credit for their continued commitment to excellence.
I tend to look at the bright side, and the future here is incredibly bright. I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years, including a presidential appointment managing the nation’s fisheries. But without a doubt, this is the best job yet. I thank President Genshaft for the confidence she has shown in me.
I plan to stay in touch with our students in a variety of ways, including town hall meetings, blogging at usfsp.edu, emails and Facebook. If you haven’t already, please like us on Facebook (Facebook.com/gousfsp) so you can follow all the latest development at your university.
Bill Hogarth, Ph.D., Interim Regional Chancellor