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With Steve Currall Out, What’s Next For The USF Presidency?

Steven Currall speaks to the USF Board of Trustees Friday afternoon.
Daylina Miller
/
WUSF Public Media
Steven Currall speaks to the USF Board of Trustees in March 2019, ahead of his hiring.

Currall only lasted two years in the position before announcing his resignation last week. He leaves next month but will remain on campus as a professor.

After two years on the job, Steven Currall is stepping down as president of the University of South Florida.

On this week’s Florida Matters, we’ll look back on Currall’s tenure, and the challenges facing college presidents around the country.

He cited the pressures of the job, including the strain it has put on his health.

Currall succeeded Judy Genshaft, who led the university after 19 years.

Rhea Law, a former USF trustee, has been nominated to serve as interim president until the university finds a permanent leader.

First up, host Bradley George speaks with professor Tim Boaz, president of the USF Faculty Senate.

Boaz praised Currall for leading the university through a pandemic as well as the consolidation of the three campuses.

But at the same time, he says Genshaft’s shoes may have been tough for Currall to fill.

Later on, George talks with Divya Kumar. An education reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, she covered the reaction to Steven Currall’s sudden departure.

She says the reactions from USF faculty and officials and local government leaders have been a mixed bag. Some saw the departure as abrupt and unexpected while others were not as surprised, Kumar says.

And last, we hear from Kent Chabotar.

He’s the former president of Guilford College in North Carolina and is founding partner of the MPK&D, a higher education consulting firm.

For three decades, he has also helped lead some Harvard University seminars geared toward new and established college presidents.

He offers insight to the role of a university president and how they can avoid the common pitfalls, especially early on in their tenure.

You can listen to Bradley’s full conversations with Boaz, Kumar and Chabotar by clicking on the “Listen” button. Or you can listen to the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.”

I was born and raised in North Carolina, but my career in public radio has taken me all over the Southeast: Nashville, Atlanta, Birmingham. Along the way, I’ve reported for NPR, Here and Now, BBC, and The Takeaway. I’ve also done quite a few stories for Marketplace.