Campus Life

What Will USF Be Like in 2030?

President Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., weighs in

by Evan Elliot

Illustration of USF and its community looking to the future

1. What does the main campus look like?

It looks green. The residence hall on the eastern slope of Lone Mountain is surrounded by trees that have been growing for 10 years. Our engineering program is thriving, and our graduates are changing the culture of technology for the better. We’ve expanded our bicycle parking lots and shrunk our car parking lots because fewer people drive. We remove more carbon from the atmosphere than we produce, so we’re carbon negative and climate positive.

2. What does the campus taste like?

We serve only local, organic, seasonal, and sustainable food, some of it from our own Star Route Farms up in Bolinas, where students learn new ways of relating to nature through marine biology, exurban agriculture, green supply chain management, environmental psychology . . .

3. What are classes like?

All classes are “flipped.” Classrooms are active learning sites where students in small and large groups engage each other about the material. The professor moves around the room, answering and asking questions. When the professor lectures, the lecture is recorded in advance and the students watch it online. They arrive in the classroom ready to put their learning to work.

4. How else is USF different?

The challenges of 2020 changed us for the better. The pandemic inspired us to better integrate technology into a personalized education for each of our students. Horrific traffic after the recession led us to build housing on Geary Boulevard for faculty and staff so they can spend less time and energy traveling to campus and more time enriching the community. The protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder moved us to really strengthen our anti-racist campus culture.

5. How is USF the same?

We still have a passion to develop the curiosity, ingenuity, and integrity of our students. Both basketball programs regularly go to the NCAA tournament. We win our 14th national championship, this time in esports. We still graduate students who work on the leading edge of socially just change for all people, but also for nonhuman animals, ecosystems, and the planet.

USF Magazine December 2020 cover

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This USF News story was published in USF Magazine, where you can find feature stories about university life, alumni Class Notes, and information about events at USF.

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