USF president Judy Genshaft to retire in 2019

Over the last 18 years, she’s helped elevate the University of South Florida from a lesser-known commuter school to one of the leading universities in Florida. But university president Judy Genshaft announced Monday that she plans to step down from her position. 

“The moment I stepped foot at USF, this was an institution of great potential and opportunity,” she told FOX 13.  “USF is on a trajectory that’s absolutely unprecedented.” 

Genshaft said she’s been considering retirement since May. 

“Intellectually it’s the right time for me and my family.  Emotionally I’m a wash rag,” she said. 

In a letter to the school community, she called her time as president as the “honor of my professional career.”

“My career has taken me around the world, introducing me to fascinating people places and ideas, but of all the places and all the experiences I can say without a doubt there is no place like the University of South Florida and Tampa Bay,” she said. 

For many students, the announcement was bittersweet. 

“I think she's done a good job. I love USF,” said senior Michael Pereira. 

“I will miss her. I have interacted with her a few times; she herself has helped me get around campus when I got lost,” sophomore Bianca Lopez said. 

The guided tours won’t end just yet. Genshaft says there’s still work to be done before she steps away. 

“I look forward to spending the next 10 months of my term continuing moving forward and charging ahead,” she added. 

Her last day will be July 1, 2019.