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USF St. Pete’s new $3 million gift comes with conditions

Margie Manning



University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Entrepreneur Kate Tiedemann is upping her commitment to University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Tiedemann donated $10 million to the university in 2014. Now, Tiedemann and her partner, Ellen Cotton, have pledged $3 million to endow the deanship of the USF St. Pete business college, according to a report in The Crow’s Nest, a student publication.

A university spokeswoman confirmed the gift, which was announced at the USF St. Pete Campus Board meeting last week.

Kate Tiedemann

The earlier donation by Tiedemann, a businesswoman who moved to Pinellas County after she retired, prompted the university to name its business college as the Kate Tiedemann College of Business. Her latest gift is contingent on her name staying put after consolidation of USF’s three campuses is complete, The Crow’s Nest report said.

State legislation calls for USF’s Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses to operate under a single accreditation beginning in July 2020. Proponents say all three campuses will see elevated prestige and funding because of the Tampa campus’ “preeminence” designation. Skeptics say it’s an effort to consolidate power at the Tampa campus and fear it will cause the other campuses to lose programs — including the Kate Tiedemann College of Business.

The Kate Tiedemann College of Business currently is one of the three business colleges at the USF campuses. After consolidation, USF will only be allowed to have one business college, but it could have multiple schools or departments within that college. A preliminary consolidation plan called for the Kate Tiedemann College of Business to become the Kate Tiedemann School of Finance and Entrepreneurship.

A consolidation task force is still working on the details and there’s been no decision on the name, said Carrie O’Brion, director of communications and marketing at USF St. Pete.

“We feel the Tiedemann/Cotton decision is a signal to the community that they are confident about the current direction of the consolidation discussion and the leadership the business deans from all three of the business schools have shown throughout this process,” O’Brion said.

The consolidation task force report is due to the USF Board of Trustees Feb. 15, and the trustees have an additional month to present their plan to the state Board of Governors.






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