Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Claire McNeill, Times staff writer

Claire McNeill, Times staff writer

Claire McNeill covers higher education for the Tampa Bay Times. She joined the paper in 2014 and covered general assignment news in Pasco and Pinellas counties. She grew up in a one-square-mile town in South Jersey and graduated from the University of North Carolina, where she studied journalism and political science. She has worked for The Boston Globe and The Charlotte Observer. She lives in St. Petersburg.

Mary McLeod Bethune. [state archives of Florida]

Pioneering educator Mary McLeod Bethune to represent Florida in national hall

During their orientation, freshmen at Bethune-Cookman University lay wreaths at the grave of their founder, the daughter of former slaves who made real her vision of educating young black people by creating a school on humble land."When...
Updated: 7 hours ago
USF Police Chief Chris Daniel says the University of South Florida police station has worked for the department but has been stretched to its limits.  [LUIS SANTANA | Times]

Short-staffed and confined to old buildings, USF cops try to keep up. ‘They’re spread very thin’

TAMPA — Be visible, Chief Chris Daniel urges his officers in the University of South Florida Police Department. Your cruiser, your bike, is your office. The students need to know you’re there.It also doesn’t hurt to get officers out of the...
Published: 03/19/18
Students are seen crossing campus last month at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Hundreds of adjunct professors who teach at the school voted to unionize, according to a count held Tuesday in Tallahassee. The next step: negotiations between USF and union members. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times]

USF adjuncts vote overwhelmingly to unionize. ‘I didn’t know it was going to turn out this well.’

It was still dark on Tuesday morning when a half-dozen adjunct professors piled into a big white van in the vacant parking lot of University Mall in Tampa. Ahead of them lay a four-hour drive and the imminent results of their monthlong campaign to...
Published: 03/13/18
A view of the USF St. Petersburg campus from Sixth Avenue S. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]

So the USF system is consolidating. Here’s what you need to know.

The University of South Florida System as it stands has an expiration date.The fate of USF's three universities lies within a higher education bill that Gov. Rick Scott signed into law on Sunday, setting the process of a system merger in...
Published: 03/13/18
Dr. Haywood Brown. Courtesy of the University of South Florida.

Top diversity and Title IX role at USF goes to Duke doctor

A new top leader for diversity and Title IX will soon join the University of South Florida System and USF Health.Dr. Haywood Brown, described as an "experienced physician, researcher and leader in higher education," hails from Duke...
Published: 03/09/18
They did it.

Lawmakers approve USF consolidation, Bright Futures expansion

An era of a dozen years inched closer to its end Monday as lawmakers in Tallahassee approved a measure that would strip the University of South Florida St. Petersburg of its hard-won accreditation.The consolidation of the USF System has already...
Published: 03/05/18
Updated: 03/06/18
Crystal River Middle School social studies teacher Dayanna Volitich, 25, has been hosting a white nationalist podcast under a pseudonym, according to a report in HuffPost. [Crystal River Middle School]

Florida teacher hosts white nationalist podcast, HuffPost reports

A 25-year old social studies teacher at Crystal River Middle School has been hosting a white nationalist podcast under a pseudonym and "bragging about teaching her views in a public school," according to a
Updated one month ago
This slide from a recent report on the University of South Florida's branding efforts shows just some of the 80-plus marks in use across its campuses. The school's current branding

USF works to remake its muddled brand. Right now, ‘it doesn’t really say anything’

TAMPA — Turn in on LeRoy Collins Boulevard, past the gold university seal and the stiff serif letters that announce the University of South Florida, and signs point the way in muddled shades of green. Scattered Bull logos and mismatched block letters...
Updated one month ago
Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole. Times files.

As USF consolidation debate nears, Pinellas representative bolsters regional control

It wasn't the outright pause many leaders in Pinellas County wanted.Still, a Pinellas representative sought to appease local concerns about a University of South Florida System merger on Tuesday by writing in protections for regional...
Updated one month ago
SCOTT KEELER | TimesRep. Ben Diamond, D- St. Petersburg, right, on the floor of the Florida House, 5/3/17.

St. Petersburg state rep files amendment asking for more study of USF consolidation

As the higher education bill containing a University of South Florida System consolidation hits its final House...
Updated one month ago