University of West Florida President Martha D. Saunders reflected on the Institution’s accomplishments from the past year and outlined plans for the future during her 2022 State of the University Address on Oct. 12, 2022. Saunders addressed students, faculty and staff in the UWF Center for Fine and Performing Arts Mainstage Theatre.
“The good ship Argo has come a long way since the last time we met, and its fearless crew has once again brought home treasure in the form of national, state and regional recognitions,” Saunders said.
UWF received the 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, award for the seventh time, and was named a “Great College to Work For” for the tenth year, receiving special designation as an Honor Roll institution for the fourth consecutive year. UWF ranked in the top 10 public institutions in the region by U.S. News & World Report, and continues to lead the way within the Florida State University System as No. 1 for Metric 1 of the Florida Board of Governors’ 2021-22 performance-based funding model; with more than 72% of UWF bachelor’s graduates employed or furthering their education one year after graduation. The University also received a Top 10 Military Friendly® designation, Military Friendly® Spouse School and Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report.
Saunders unveiled a blueprint for the future of the University including master and strategic planning, as well as plans for continued growth in enrollment and diversity. The new strategic plan features a slightly reworded mission statement which places additional focus on students and their future success. It aims to strengthen UWF’s culture of inclusion and civility, and advance its commitment to research and community engagement while positioning the University as a catalyst for economic growth.
“If last year was a year of planning — this year is going to be a year of doing,” Saunders said. “After six years as president here, I envision UWF as a fully engaged University, recognized for the strength of our graduates, responsiveness to the needs of the state, and an unrelenting competitive spirit.”
The University’s campus master plan provides guidance for the continued development of the UWF campus.
“For the next five years, we are phasing in demolitions, renovations, remodeling and planning for five new construction projects,” Saunders said. “Our master plan also has more clearly defined conservation efforts. We are committed to the protection of our campus resources and ecosystems as we further develop the campus.”