By Mark Schreiner
Steven Currall’s first official day as University of South Florida President Monday began with a trip of a few hundred feet from his new home in the Lifsey House on the Tampa campus to the Gibbons Alumni Center next door.
It wrapped up with visits to the USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee campuses. In between, he laid out a plan that will take the school into the next 12 months and beyond.
Speaking to reporters Monday morning, Currall shared some of his goals as the successor to longtime USF President Judy Genshaft.
“I’m going to be working in service to faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the university,” he said. “I’m going to be reaching out a lot to community partners and we will really strive to make USF to the Tampa Bay region what Stanford has been to Silicon Valley in terms of promoting economic development and upward economic mobility.”
Another of Currall’s goals is continuing to build on USF’s academic achievements.
“We’re already a large university – that’s great in terms of access…for a lot of students with amazing backgrounds,” he said. “So growth heavily in quality and excellence…we’ll be focused on further strengthening our programs.”
Currall later had breakfast with research faculty in Tampa before traveling to USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee to meet with student government leaders at both campuses.
On Tuesday, he’s scheduled to tour the downtown Tampa construction site of the new USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute building.
Currall also sent a letter to the USF community outlining his vision and plans, which include:
- “Advancing the Future Ascent of Florida” – Currall says the “singular objective” for the university during the rest of his career will be for USF to become an overall top 25 U.S. public university. Another goal is to become a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), the 62 top research universities in North America.
- Listening Tour – Currall plans to visit academic, administrative and athletic units on all three USF campuses, as well as the research and clinical units of USF Health.
He also said he’ll communicate with USF Trustees, members of the State University System Board of Governors, Gov. Ron DeSantis and other city, state and federal government leaders, as well as meet with faculty leadership and representatives. While the tour will begin in his first 100 days as president, Currall said, with such a long list, the tour will be a central focus of the first year of his tenure.
- Strategic Renewal for USF – Currall plans to “renew and enhance” the vision and strategic plan for the university, with a focus on undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and research, and strategic partnerships with the community.
- USF’s “Principles of Community” – Currall announced a task force made up of “a broad cross-section of university stakeholders to craft a document that captures USF’s “Principles of Community.”” He plans to announce that group by Sept. 15.
Currall also announced plans to fill one major upcoming vacancy on his leadership team.
Joel Momberg, the Sr. VP for Advancement and CEO of the USF Foundation, plans to retire Oct. 31. Currall said USF will launch a national search for Momberg’s replacement.