Friday, February 23, 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.

University of South Florida undergraduates gather at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa for the fall commencement ceremony last December.  LUIS SANTANA | Times

USF acts as student success mentor to three universities across nation

At a conference all about helping students succeed, University of South Florida officials talked about how they're lending a hand, and their example, to three institutions with similar demographics.As a national mentor...
Published: 02/22/18
Oscar Horton, one of the new members of USF's board of trustees, was officially introduced to the USF community last week. Courtesy of the University of South Florida.

New USF trustees introduced to university leaders

The three new members of the University of South Florida board of trustees got their official welcome last week.The new members — a top USF donor, a Sarasota developer and a transportation executive — will serve multi-year...
Published: 02/21/18
Detail from Serhat Tanyolacar's

Polk State College deems explicit anti-Trump art “too controversial” for campus display

The artwork in question runs wider than the average wingspan.It's an intricate study in contrasts, where on the right, great thinkers and poets mingle in a grayscale garden of Eden, while on the left, President Donald Trump and a battalion of...
Published: 02/21/18
Sen. Jeff Brandes sent a letter to Rep. Chris Sprowls sharing some priorities for a potential USF consolidation.DIRK SHADD | Times

Under a potential USF consolidation, what could help appease St. Petersburg skeptics?

The massive higher education bill that would potentially consolidate the University of South Florida System...
Published: 02/20/18
A teacher at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in St. Petersburg delivers a Chinese lesson in 2008. Three years later, the University of South Florida Confucius Institute announced that Thurgood Marshall would host the first

USF to review its Confucius Institute amid Rubio concerns about Chinese overreach

The University of South Florida has no reason to believe its Confucius Institute has been compromised by the Chinese government, USF System President Judy Genshaft wrote in a letter last week.Still, she told Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the...
Published: 02/19/18
USF president Judy Genshaft roots for the Bulls during a game at the Sun Dome. Her proposed contract for 2018-19 will provide for about $505,900 in base pay and a performance-based stipend of up to $300,000, along with about $119,000 in deferred compensation and a state retirement contribution. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]

No raise this year for USF president Genshaft; pay and benefits to remain at $925,000

TAMPA — The University of South Florida System’s long-serving leader will again stand to make about $925,000 in pay and deferred compensation under her proposed contract renewal.If approved, President Judy Genshaft’s contract will provide for...
Published: 02/14/18
Rendering of indoor practice field of USF Football Center. [USF Athletics]

Charlie Strong pitches USF football facility to trustees

Tampa Bay Times staff writer Claire McNeill, covering today's USF Board of Trustees meeting, had this dispatch from the proceedings:USF's
Published: 02/13/18
Students walk the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida, where officials have gradually been raising admission standards, making it harder for B students to gain entry. For an urban university system that has long prided itself on giving underrepresented students a path to college, the higher bar has some local leaders worried about potential tradeoffs with diversity and access. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]

As USF raises its standards, can a B student still get in?

There was a time when it would have been unusual, maybe even unthinkable, that the University of South Florida — let alone the welcoming USF St. Petersburg — would reject a solid B student.But the USF System has honed its focus since those...
Published: 02/10/18
Updated: 02/12/18
Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg.

At town hall, Pinellas voices urge delay for USF consolidation proposal

If state lawmakers hadn't gotten the message yet, a handful of vocal speakers at a town hall meeting Friday in St. Petersburg hammered their point home: Slow down the proposed consolidation of the University of South Florida System.Again and...
Published: 02/09/18
Updated: 02/12/18
A rendering of the Publix Super Market being built on the USF campus. Credit: Publix Super Markets

Publix begins construction on USF campus

Rejoice, Publix lovers of the University of South Florida, for construction has begun on the hotly anticipated Publix on USF's campus.The 28,000-square-foot grocery store is springing up next to university's gleaming new student housing...
Updated one month ago