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Welcome to the University of San Francisco

An exciting and challenging experience awaits you as an administrator of the University of San Francisco. We have written this handbook to answer some of the questions you may have concerning the University and its policies. Please read it thoroughly and keep it available for future reference. The University reserves the right to change the policies in this handbook. From time to time you may receive updated information concerning changes in policy. Please keep your handbook updated. If you have any questions regarding any of these policies, please ask your supervisor or a member of the Office of Human Resources. We wish you the best of luck and success in your position and hope that your employment relationship with the University of San Francisco will be a rewarding experience for all involved.

Contents of this Section:

History of the University

The University of San Francisco was established as San Francisco's first institution of higher education by Jesuit priests in October 1855. The original college, known as St. Ignatius Academy, was located in a simple frame building 75 feet long by 35 feet wide at 5th and Market streets, the site of one of San Francisco's largest department stores today. The Academy opened its doors as a "Jesuit college for the youth of the city" under the guidance of Father Anthony Maraschi, S.J., founder and first President.

Four years later, on April 30, 1859, the State of California issued a charter under the title of "Saint Ignatius College," empowering the College to confer degrees "with such literary honors as are granted by any university in the United States." The curriculum included courses in Greek, Spanish, Latin, English, French, Algebra and Arithmetic.

In 1862, a new building for the College was constructed on the same site, on Market Street, between Fourth and Fifth. The 1862 catalog stated the purpose of St. Ignatius College as the "giving of a thorough classical, mathematical and philosophical education." In June 1863, the first bachelor of arts degree was conferred.

In 1880, the College moved to new buildings which had been erected on Van Ness Avenue near the site of the Civic Center, the current location of the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall. Twenty-six years later, the 1906 San Francisco fire and earthquake destroyed the institution and all its laboratories, libraries, and art treasures. The College was relocated to temporary quarters at Hayes and Shrader streets within the year.

In 1909, the Ignatian Heights property was acquired at Fulton Street and Parker Avenue, the current location of the University campus. In 1914, the development of the new campus began.

In 1930, on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee, and at the request of civic, professional and industrial leaders of San Francisco, St. Ignatius College became the University of San Francisco.

Since 1931, the University of San Francisco has grown with the city whose name it bears. Today, USF, with its 55 acres, is San Francisco's largest independent university campus. The coeducational student body represents all geographic sections of the United States and over 80 countries. Although USF retains its rich Catholic heritage, its students and faculty are from all religious backgrounds.

The Jesuit traditions of scholarship and dedication to a liberal education are the foundation for all academic programs at USF.

The Jesuits continue their commitment to the University they founded and are joined in that commitment by other religious and lay faculty. The University's humanistic tradition views the individual mind and spirit as its most valuable resources.

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   University Vision, Mission, and Values


The University of San Francisco will be internationally recognized as a premier Jesuit Catholic, urban University with a global perspective that educates leaders who will fashion a more humane and just world.


The core mission of the University is to promote learning in the Jesuit Catholic tradition.  The University offers undergraduate, graduate and professional students the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as persons and professionals, and the values and sensitivity necessary to be men and women for others.

The University will distinguish itself as a diverse, socially responsible learning community of high quality scholarship and academic rigor sustained by a faith that does justice. The University will draw from the cultural, intellectual and economic resources of the San Francisco Bay Area and its location on the Pacific Rim to enrich and strengthen its educational programs.


The University’s core values include a belief in and a commitment to advancing:

1.     The Jesuit Catholic tradition that views faith and reason as complementary resources in the search for truth and authentic human development, and that welcomes persons of all faiths or no religious beliefs as fully contributing partners to the University

2.     The freedom and the responsibility to pursue truth and follow evidence to its conclusion

3.     Learning as a humanizing, social activity rather than a competitive exercise

4.     A common good that transcends the interests of particular individuals or groups; and reasoned discourse rather than coercion as the norm for decision making

5.     Diversity of perspectives, experiences and traditions as essential components of a quality education in our global context

6.     Excellence as the standard for teaching, scholarship, creative expression and service to the University community

7.     Social responsibility in fulfilling the University’s mission to create, communicate and apply knowledge to a world shared by all people and held in trust for future generations

8.     The moral dimension of every significant human choice: taking seriously how and who we choose to be in the world

9.     The full, integral development of each person and all persons, with the belief that no individual or group may rightfully prosper at the expense of others

10.  A culture of service that respects and promotes the dignity of every person.

   Diversity Statement

It has been observed that although America is a multicultural society "it is not yet a pluralistic society -- a place where all racial and cultural groups share equal access to opportunities for quality lives and power over their own lives." Education and educational institutions are one vehicle for mediating the full benefits of a multicultural society.

Multiculturalism is rapidly becoming a way of life in the city of San Francisco, our state and our nation. As such, multiculturalism is viewed as a strength and a resource in our rapidly changing urban environment. It is obvious that the USF community is aware of the richness that comes from the multiculturalism evidenced in our urbanscape and in our student population. And indeed we celebrate that richness. At the same time, as a campus community, we must continue to learn how to tap the rich vein of cultural, ethnic, racial, and gender diversity to improve education for all at USF.

The Mission Statement of USF clearly states that we strive to "create a campus-wide environment which values each individual, heightens ethical standards, instills a passion for justice, and integrates faith with life...To prepare men and women to shape a multicultural world with creativity, generosity, and compassion."

This sentiment flows directly from the Society of Jesus' commitment to the "service of faith in the promotion of justice" as well as the Jesuits' centuries-old commitment to educate amidst cultural diversity and across all national borders. Inculturation, the appreciation and appropriation of different cultural patterns, has always been a part of the Jesuit view of the world.

The University of San Francisco affirms its intentions and efforts to enhance the minority representation among its faculty, staff, and student populations.

"Multiculturalism" and "Diversity" are concepts that should become recognized strengths of this University which is presently recognized as being "Catholic, Jesuit and Urban." There is a natural affinity and compatibility in all of these attributes.

It is our intention that our focusing on multiculturalism will equally address the issues of diversity and at the same time acknowledge our abundant resources in the city, our international students and the foreign study programs already in place at USF. Multiculturalism is the future. We as a university community cannot be complacent, disinterested or uninformed about the need for enhancing our institutional commitment to multiculturalism in all facets of university life.

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   Organizational Structure

President: Serving as Chief Executive Officer, the President has a responsibility for the overall operation, development and general welfare of the University. Through six vice presidents, the President exercises supervision of planning, organization and coordination of policies, programs and administrative functions. In addition to the Vice Presidents, the following positions report directly to the President: Chancellor and Chancellor-Emeritus, University Counsel, Executive Assistant/University Secretary, Executive Director of University Ministry, and the Ombudsperson.

The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs: As chief operating and academic officer of the university, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs seeks to recruit and retain a diverse faculty of outstanding teachers and scholars; assists the faculty in the creation of a learning community characterized by high quality scholarship and academic rigor, and sustained by a faith that does justice; directs the academic programs of the University through the deans and colleges; oversees admissions and transfer policies, faculty and curriculum development, library resources, and student academic services such as advising, orientation, registration, financial aid, and disabilities services. Additionally, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs supports the planning and budget initiatives of the University; initiatives for minority recruitment and international/immersion programming opportunities; and programming in the area of students affairs and university life.

Vice President for Business & Finance: The Vice President for Business & Finance is responsible for financial reporting, treasury operations, facilities management, risk management, purchasing services, purchasing card program, endowment management, athletics, One Card operations and auxiliary services of the University of San Francisco.

Vice President for Information Technology Services: The Vice President oversees the mission of the Information Technology Services division which is to support and facilitate the use of technology in creating, communicating and applying knowledge; fostering communication and collaboration; promoting efficiency and convenience in University services; and ensuring security and business continuity.

Vice President for Development: The Vice President has responsibility for all annuity fund-raising, and oversees departments with functions related to charitable gifts including: planned giving, corporate and foundation relations, the annual fund, major gifts, development services, library relations and athletic development. 

Vice President for Communications and Marketing: The Vice President has responsibility for overall University marketing and communications. It includes the departments of Marketing, Media Relations, Publications, Social Media, and Web Communication and Services.

Vice President for Student Life: The Vice President directs the co-curricular learning environment on campus. Concerned with the quality of life for all students, the Vice President shapes opportunities for students to develop into creative, caring, ethical citizens - socially and personally capable and willing assume leadership roles in society. The Vice President oversees residence life, counseling, student leadership and engagement, career services, student conduct rights & responsibilities, international student and scholar services, multicultural student services, recreational sports and intramurals, public safety, student health services, clubs and student organizations.

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   Schools and Colleges of the University

The College of Arts and Sciences offers a wide variety of major, minor, certificate, and graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. In addition, the College delivers most of the General Education Curriculum to undergraduates from across the University. It offers co-curricular and enrichment opportunities through the College's many special programs. With 30 majors and 50 minors, The College offers a wide variety of educational options imbued with a mission to provide not only the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as persons and professionals, but also the values and sensitivity necessary to be men and women for others.

The School of Business and Management, located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, prepares students for positions of leadership and responsibility in the business world throughout the United States and the rest of the world. Accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) on both the undergraduate and graduate levels, the School's curriculum is designed to develop the analytical skills, creativity, and other qualities of mind necessary for adapting to the increasing complexity and constant change of organizational life.

The School of Education offers credential and graduate programs designed to meet aspiring and practicing educators, counselors and leaders. By valuing the individual, the School provides a caring, interactive, and academically challenging climate through: instilling a passion for knowledge, wisdom and justice, fostering a desire to celebrate a modern, multicultural world, building a commitment to creativity and compassion heightening ethical standards, developing the intellect and enhancing professional skills. The School fosters a community marked by the commitment of the Jesuit, Catholic urban university to issues of justice and intellectual rigor and supports faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends in accomplishing their lifelong learning goals.

The School of Law offers a wide-ranging program of both full-time and part-time instruction leading to the Juris Doctor degree. With an emphasis on professional skills and quality classroom teaching, The School's goal is to educate students to be effective lawyers with a social conscience, high ethical standards and a glocbal perspective. The intellectually demanding curriculum prepares the student to be an effective participant in the legal profession, whether as a practicing attorney, member of the judiciary, or other public official. The curriculum is also well suited as preparation for careers in government, business, and legal education.

The School of Management offers undergraduate and graduate programs designed to provide high-quality professional learning experiences in management. Graduates of the program will have the skills necessary to build productive and compassionate organizations in the three sectors of not-for-profit, business, and government, with an emphasis on leadership, social responsibility, and sustainability within a global context. 

The School of Nursing and Health Professions has a vibrant baccalaureate program that is one of the few programs in the West Coast to admit students as freshmen. Graduates earn their bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN) and are eligible to sit for licensure (NCLEX) as a registered nurse (RN). The school offers a master's of science degree in nursing (MSN) with a Clinical Nurse Lead (CNL) focus and a master's entry (ME-CNL) option for individuals with a bachelor's degree in another field who want to become a RN and develop the skills as a clinical nurseleader. The School also offers a Doctor of Nursing (DNP) degree program. The DNP at USF is accredited by the Western Association of Schools andf Colleges and is the first such program in California preparing graduates for advance practice specialties. The DNP is a practice focused doctorate. Graduates are prepared as nurse practicioners (direct adnavced practice) and healthcaresystem leaders (indirect advanced practice).

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   Mission and Goals of the Office of Human Resources

The mission of the Office of Human Resources is to strategically parrtner with USF colleges and divisions to provide optimal HR services, aligned with best practices, to support and enhance the USF vision, mission, and values.

To accomplish its mission, the office has five over-arching goals:

1.  Customer Service - The Office of Human Resources will partner with customers to provide the services and products they need to achieve their goals in support of USF's vision, mission, and values.

2.  Technology Infrastructure Support - The Office of Human Resources will leverage technology to provide essential services and information to USF employees and applicants.

3.  Recruitment - The Office of Human Resources will develop and recruit a diverse, qualified pool of candidates using the most effective and efficient methodologies.

4.  Retention - Through its benefits, compensation, serviceS, and programs, the Office of Human Resources will retain USF's diverse staff and faculty who support and enhance USF's mission.

5.  Professional Development - The Office of Human Resources will provide accessible, applicable, learning expeiences for faculty and staff.

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   Administrative Staff Definitions

  1. Administrator - Salaried administrative staff who are exempt from the provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act to the extent provided by law and academic administrators holding rank and/or tenure. This definition does not apply to executive officers or faculty and staff who are covered by collective bargaining agreements.
  2. Regular Full-Time Administrator - An administrator who is normally scheduled to work 37.5 hours per week during a five-day period. Depending on the nature of the work or employee's responsibilities, the work week may range from nine to twelve months. An administrator with an appointment of at least .8 full-time equivalency (FTE) will be eligible for benefits accorded to full-time, regular administrators. Examples of job positions that are considered administrative include: Associate Vice President, Counselor, Director and Administrative Assistant.
  3. Regular Part-Time Administrator - An administrator who is normally scheduled to work halftime or more (.5 FTE) but less than full-time (.8 FTE). Regular part-time administrators are only eligible for federal or state mandated benefits.
  4. Provisional Administrator - A provisional administrator is normally appointed as full-time (.8 FTE or more) with the same eligibility for benefits as a regular full-time administrator. The provisional appointment may be for a specified period of time and contingent upon the continuing availability of programs and funding.
  5. Temporary Administrator - A temporary administrator may be appointed on a part-time or full-time basis for a specified period of time normally not to exceed nine months. Exceptions to this policy should be discussed with the Office of Human Resources. Temporary administrators are generally eligible only for state and federal mandated benefits.
  6. Academic Administrator - Those holding faculty rank and/or tenure.
This handbook applies to administrators who have tenure and have previously been covered by a faculty collective bargaining agreement (i.e. Associate Deans). In these instances, however, this handbook will not abridge the rights and/or privileges of the collective bargaining agreement when the administrator returns to the bargaining unit.

In cases where this manual conflicts with employment related rights or privileges accorded individuals holding faculty rank and/or tenure, these individuals shall discuss such conflict with an appropriate Vice President when, or if, such conflicts become known. A decision on a case-by-case basis shall then be made.

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   Administrators' Responsibilities

In fulfilling their responsibilities, all administrators are expected to:
  • provide excellent service to students, faculty, staff and the University community;
  • understand that change is necessary to keep USF vibrant and be willing to think and act creatively to assure continuous change for the better;
  • maintain relationships with their supervisors and colleagues which are open, collaborative and characterized by mutual trust, respect and care;
  • coordinate and cooperate appropriately with others who need to be involved or who are affected by their decisions and actions;
  • work to understand, interpret and apply University policies, programs and procedures accurately and constructively and in an ethical manner;
  • if they have supervisory responsibilities, create and maintain a working environment which encourages a commitment to excellence and respect for differences in personal and professional development.

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