External Affairs serves to connect our campus in collaborative partnership with local organizations to address issues that positively impact our community. We believe that through this engagement, our students, faculty and staff become knowledgeable, involved citizens within the community we serve and will contribute meaningfully to the overall social and economic success of the region, state and nation.

Community engagement is at the core of our mission, vision and strategic plan as a university.  The Office of Community Engagement supports these institutional values by:

Who We Are

Casey Welch Office of Community Engagement

Casey Welch, Assistant Vice President for External Affairs and Government Relation
caseywelch@sar.usf.edu  941-359-4572

Casey Welch serves as the Assistant Vice President for External Affairs and Government Relations at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. As a member of the University of South Florida System Office of Government Relations he serves as the official liaison between USF Sarasota-Manatee and government entities. Under External Affairs, Casey leads the Institute for Public Policy and Leadership at USF Sarasota-Manatee; as well as overseeing Community Engagement and Economic Development activities for the institution.

Mr. Welch served as Deputy Legislative Director for Congressman Adam Putnam who represented portions of the Tampa Bay area and central Florida in the United States House of Representatives. Prior to his position in Washington, D.C. he worked in the Florida House of Representatives and the office of Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Before coming to USFSM in 2011, he represented two of Florida’s largest agricultural trade associations at the U.S. Congress and various federal agencies. Casey is a graduate of the Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History. He is a Sarasota native who is a past president of the Florida 4-H Foundation and a current member of the Mote Marine Laboratory Advisory Council.


Jay Riley, Director of Business Outreach and Engagement
jayriley@sar.usf.edu 941-359-4694

Jay Riley is the Director of Business Outreach and Engagement as part of External Affairs at USF Sarasota-Manatee; works with current and potential partners across the USF System service area to strategically identify and access the institution’s vast resources.  Mr. Riley works closely with students, faculty and staff to effectively manage mutually beneficial partnerships between the university and stakeholders. He also oversees three student programs at USFSM: the Student Ambassadors, the Rowing Club, and the Rocky the Bull mascot program. Prior to his current role, Jay served as the Director of Alumni Affairs at USFSM for 10 years.

Mr. Riley is a graduate of Mansfield University with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and Public Relations.  His professional background includes media relations, community relations, promotions, business development, and marketing; in the fields of Hospitality & Tourism, Florida Citrus and Sports industries.  Jay has lived and worked in Sarasota for over 20 year and serves on many non-profit and professional boards in the community.