Engagement in the Metropolitan Research University: The University of South Florida Creates its Identity

Keywords: Higher Education, Community Engagement


Although institutional "transformation" is now a theme of the movement to engagement, for the University of South Florida the process is better described as "selfdefinition." For newer, urban universities, growth has often reflected the need to reconcile the apparently conflicting goals of research excellence and communityrelevance. This paper describes the development of USF as a confident, researchoriented university with strong community roots, and delineates some of the conditions needed to create such a sense of identity.