Editor’s note: The story here is part of a series of 40 stories commemorating USF Sarasota-Manatee’s 40th anniversary this academic year. For more about USFSM’s history, please visit usfsm.edu/anniversary.
Regional Chancellor Dr. Arthur M. Guilford, 2007 to 2014, helped USF Sarasota-Manatee become separately accredited, welcomed its first freshman class and launched a four-year undergraduate program.
All that aside, it’s what goes unreported by history that Dr. Guildford considers when mulling his seven years at the helm of USF Sarasota-Manatee. Namely, helping to put the university on the map.
“It used to be that when you said you worked at USF Sarasota-Manatee, they would say, ‘Oh, that school that’s part of New College,’” he said. “They don’t say that anymore. I think one of the most important things that I accomplished was greater recognition of USF Sarasota-Manatee in the community, recognition that we are your hometown four-year university.”
Hired in 2007, Dr. Guilford came to USFSM after the new campus opened in 2006. The university wouldn’t see separate accreditation until 2011 and its first freshman class until 2013. In the meantime, he worked hard to change hearts and minds to show the university could take the next step with an undergraduate program.
Today he sees the result of those efforts on the campus: “I see the pride of the students who go to USFSM. They are really proud to be here and I also see a change in faculty. We have a faculty that is proud to be building something that they have a hand in.
“We’ve gotten everybody to rally behind USF Sarasota-Manatee and it shows,” he said.