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University Beat

ESPN.com reports the future of the Big East Conference continues to be in question. The three member schools that play football, including USF, are outnumbered by seven teams that don't field football teams. Representatives of those schools met with Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco this past weekend, as the option to dissolve the conference remains on the table.

Willie Taggart
Tampa Bay Times

USF didn't wait long, naming Willie Taggart as the third head football coach in the program's history, less than a week after firing Skip Holtz.

Speaking at a news conference Saturday afternoon, Taggart spoke of USF's history while promising a new brand of leadership in the future.

"I always said I wouldn't leave WKU unless I had a chance to go and win a national championship, and I truly believe that can be done here," Taggart said.

"It wasn't long ago USF was No. 2 in the country. It's been proven that we can get there," Taggart added. "What we have to do now is put everybody on the bus, put 'em in the right seat and let coach T drive this bus!"

One of the candidates to be the new USF football coach, Western Kentucky's Willie Taggart, may or may not have met with USF athletic director Doug Woolard. But Taggart's not saying much, instead focusing on preparations for his team's first-ever bowl game.

The Tampa Bay Times reports USF President Judy Genshaft is very enthused about the candidates interested in the vacant head football coaching position, saying the team has "a great future."

Today the final three reports in an overview of the scientific community's response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is being released. One of the authors is University of South Florida biologist Steve Murawski, who was the chief scientist for the National Marine Fisheries Service during the disaster.

GoUSFBulls.com

The University of South Florida ends its 16th football season on the hunt for a new head coach.

Athletic director Doug Woolard said in a statement, released after the dismissal of Skip Holtz, that he plans to act quickly and will not use a conventional search firm.

When hired, the new USF football coach will become only the third football coach in USF's history.

Below, Woolard explains the reasoning for firing Holtz after three years as head coach and how he plans to move the USF football program forward.

STATEMENT FROM DOUG WOOLARD

Skip Holtz Releases Statement after USF's Firing

Dec 2, 2012
GoUSFBulls.com

The University of South Florida Football program released the following written statement  Sunday afternoon from Skip Holtz in response to his firing as the head coach.

Holtz is only the second coach to run USF's fledgling football program. The other, Jim Leavitt, was fired in January 2010 for allegedly hitting a player and then lying about the incident.

STATEMENT FROM SKIP HOLTZ

USF

The University of South Florida is expected to fire football coach Skip Holtz today, according to university sources. The school has scheduled a news conference at 4 p.m. today. The firing follows three tumultuous seasons and a 16-21 overall record.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the move, which came a day after a season-ending 27-3 loss to Pittsburgh, is a costly one for USF.

Judy Lowry / USF Research News

The University of South Florida's research reputation continues to rise.

The prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science has named 15 USF faculty members as Fellows. This places the school in the top ten universities worldwide with the most new Fellows named this year, trailing only the University of Michigan (19 Fellows), Ohio State University (18), University of California-Davis (17) and Vanderbilt University (17), tying the University of Southern California (15) and ahead of such schools as Duke University (14) and Indiana University (12).

USF's Student Government and the company that runs the USF Sun Dome have a message for English indie rockers Mumford and Sons: We want you.

Specifically, they want the band to perform at USF on its worldwide tour promoting the new album, Babel.

"We have a lot of dedicated fans of Mumford & Sons; many of which even drove to see them perform at the Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee," said USF Student Body President, Brian Goff.

"The students here are passionate about the band and would love to have such great performers come on campus and showcase their talent.”

USF may soon be on the hunt for a new athletic conference to play in if just one more team defects from the Big East, according to the Providence Journal.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, already part of a national scandal for emails she allegedly sent to disgraced CIA Director David Petraeus and U.S. General John Allen, also sent emails to USF Health proposing a relationship--one between the university's med school and South Korea.

J. Meric / GoUSFBulls.com

As the seemingly never-ending game of musical chairs continues across the major NCAA conferences, is a seat at the Atlantic Coast Conference's table in the University of South Florida's future?

USF News

A University of South Florida professor is one of just four recipients of what's considered one of the nation's highest honors for undergraduate teaching.

Mechanical Engineering Professor Autar Kaw has been named "Professor of the Year" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Kaw, who has taught at USF for 25 years, was selected in the category of Outstanding Doctoral and Research Universities Professor of the Year.

Amie Blodgett / USF News

Businessman Olin Mott was honored Thursday by the city of Tampa and USF's College of Education for his philanthropic support of a large number of Bay area organizations and charities.

Speaking at the college's 16th Annual "Education in Action" Luncheon (sponsored in part by WUSF), Mott said he's given so much time and money to programs like the College of Education with just one thing in mind: the future of young people.

"Youngsters today have more opportunity than anyone ever in the history of this country has got. They can move forward, just get the education, that's the main thing. Without that, there's no hope."

USF St. Petersburg News

The 20th Annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading is this Saturday, October 20th, at the USF St. Petersburg campus from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

While well-known authors like Dennis Lehane (speaking at the University Student Center at 10 a.m.) and Michael Grunwald (University Student Center at 2:30 p.m.) will present their latest works, three local figures profiled on this week's University Beat on WUSF 89.7 will also be speaking.

Over the past decade, hundreds of men have come forward to tell gruesome stories of abuse and terrible beatings they suffered at Florida's Dozier School for Boys, a notorious, state-run institution that closed last year after more than a century.

Known as the "White House Boys," these 300-some men were sent as boys to the reform school in the small panhandle town of Mariana in the 1950s and 1960s. They have joined together over the years to tell their stories of the violence administered in a small building on the school's grounds they knew as the White House.

WUSF 89.7 News

We may have a better idea what prompted University of South Florida Athletic Director Doug Woolard to speak out earlier this week with his tentative support for embattled football coach Skip Holtz.

Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports Board of Trustees chair John Ramil sent an email to USF President Judy Genshaft's chief of staff immediately after this past Saturday's 37-26 loss to Temple--an email that simply read "Disgusting and unacceptable. We have major problems with our football program."

That note was forwarded to Woolard, with an attachment: "Hope things are better. Make sure you have conversation with the Board Chair. Thanks."

Candace Kaw / USF College of the Arts

The curtain goes up tonight on the University of South Florida School of Theatre and Dance's production of the musical Hairspray. Here are five things to know about the show.

1. While the show from both John Waters' original 1988 film and the 2003 Tony Award-winning musical (along with the 2007 Hollywood adaptation), director/choreographer Andy Frye (who previously directed USF's productions of Rocky Horror Show and Hair) says USF's version is something all its own.

“We’re trying to use the original John Waters movie as inspiration. It’s a little darker and quirkier, which this new version is as well, but it’s a little ‘bubble gum’ and ‘cotton candy,’ and everything just like fun, fun, fun, and we just wanted to bring a darker side so we have somewhere to grow.”

Deb Holland / WUSF Public Media

It's one of the more humorous, yet heartfelt moments at the University of South Florida--hundreds of men stumbling around in women's shoes at the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" march.

During the event, scheduled for this Friday in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, male students and faculty will again pledge to help end sexual violence against women. This year's march comes as University Police continue investigating a pair of apparently unrelated sexual assaults that occurred in campus residence halls over the last four weeks.

USF

Contrary to some University of South Florida football fans' wishes, Coach Skip Holtz will keep his job, despite USF losing four games in a row and 10 of its last 11 Big East games.

Athletic Director Doug Woolard issued a statement Tuesday supporting the embattled coach, saying: "As has been our practice in the past, we will evaluate the status of each of our 19 programs at the conclusion of their respective seasons. We'll identify where we are as a football program at that time and continue to build from there."

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Police at the University of South Florida continue investigating a pair of sexual attacks reported in residence halls on the Tampa campus. And while authorities say the incidents are apparently unrelated, they're also encouraging students to be cautious, but not afraid.

University police have yet to file charges in this past Sunday morning's incident in Epsilon Hall, where a woman alleges she was attacked by a man she knows.

They also continue seeking an unknown suspect who reportedly attacked a student in Kappa Hall on Sept. 19. The woman did not know her attacker, who's described as a white male, 18 to 22 years old, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds with a muscular build and short black or shaggy brown hair.

Physics World

For more than 60 years, scientific Nobel Prize winners, researchers and students have gathered in Germany for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting—an annual series of lectures and discussions. Until this past summer, the University of South Florida has never sent a representative.

But that’s changed because of Evan Lafalce, Aaron Landerville and Joseph Fogarty—three USF physics graduate students who were among the almost 600 young researchers from around the world selected to attend the meetings. That compares with such institutions as MIT and CalTech, which sent two researchers each.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF News

Thanks to a $12 million endowment from some noted bay-area philanthropists, the University of South Florida will soon have a new college that focuses on improving the lives of people around the world.

Doctors Kiran and Pallavi Patel's donation creates the Patel College of Global Sustainability, and brings their total contributions to USF to almost $26 million. It's also the latest extension of a decade-long effort at USF that looks at sustainable global development and healthcare. Previous donations led to the construction of the Patel Center for Global Solutions and the Patel School of Global Sustainability.

University of South Florida

Despite a hiring freeze and no pay raises for a number of years, an online jobs website has named the University of South Florida's Tampa campus as the eighth best college in the nation to work for.

Forbes reports that the site, Glassdoor, polled employees at 50 of the country's largest universities to find out how satisfied they were with the schools they work for.

USFSP News

Until recently, USF Saint Petersburg has been the definition of a “commuter school.” With no place for students to live on campus, many would come to class and then leave. That’s slowly been changing. First, a 370 bed residence hall was built a few years ago. And now, another 200 bed residential tower—along with a central gathering area for students—is in place, in the form of the new Student Center.

“Before this building, we really didn’t have a place to meet,” said USF St. Pete Student Body President Mark Lombardi-Nelson. “There wasn’t that central location for people to hang out, and this provides that, and that’s why you’ll see the energy, it’s just crazy.”

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

NBC's TODAY Show dropped in Thursday morning at the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida, and a longer visit may just be in the university's future.

USF is one of six finalists in the show's “Kathie Lee and Hoda Go Back to College” contest, which is trying to find the institution "with the greatest creativity, originality and most school spirit." The institution that gets the most online votes from viewers will have the fourth hour of the Today Show broadcast live from its campus next month.

Photo illustration by Thomas Todd / USF News

UPDATE Sept. 19 11:30 a.m. -- USF will hold a 'tropical paradise' themed welcome event Thursday, September 20th, as TODAY Show correspondent Sara Haines reports live between 10 and 11 a.m. from the Marshall Student Center bull fountains. Students, faculty and staff are being encouraged to wear green and gold beach wear and show up starting at 8:30 a.m. to show off their school spirit.

ORIGINAL POST

The University of South Florida is battling Syracuse University, Ohio State University and three other colleges for the right to have NBC's TODAY Show broadcast live on campus.

According a release from USF News, the University is one of six finalists in TODAY's “Kathie Lee and Hoda Go Back to College” contest, which is trying to find the institution "with the greatest creativity, originality and most school spirit." The school that gets the most online votes will have the fourth hour of the show, featuring Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, broadcast live during the first week of October.

USF College of Business

Moez Limayem has been named the new dean for the USF College of Business. Here are five things to know about the man who succeeds Robert Forsythe, who served as dean since 2006.

1. Limayem brings a "world" of experience with him. He was born in Tunisia, has lived on four continents and speaks at least a portion of six languages. He received his MBA and PhD in business administration from the University of Minnesota, where he also began his teaching career. He's taught or served in administrative positions at Laval University in Canada, City University of Hong Kong and Lausanne University in Switzerland.

Ryan Dillow / WUSF Public Media

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

It's an old joke, but USF researchers are putting that concept to the test, as they look at what piano training can teach us about how we learn.

“The purpose of this research is to examine the effects of intense musical training, in the form of piano training, on auditory processing, cognitive abilities and bimanual coordination throughout the lifespan,” said Dr. Jennifer Bugos, an instructor in the USF School of Music.  

In other words, the research is attempting to determine what piano classes teach us about how we listen, learn and then coordinate our actions.

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