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University Beat

USF Presidential Search Heating Up

Statues of bulls outside USF Marshall Student Center
USF Communications and Marketing
Statues of bulls outside USF Marshall Student Center

The University of South Florida Board of Trustees is expected to make its choice for the school's next president within a matter of days.

The number of candidates to succeed Judy Genshaft had grown to 23 as of Monday morning, with more names expected to be added before Friday's deadline.

Some critics said the initial roster of applicants released last month didn't include many candidates with the kind of credentials USF's presidency was expected to draw.

But the latest list includes a number of names with the kind of academic bona fides many had hoped for originally:

  • Wanda Blanchett, Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Rutgers University-New Brunswick
  • Steven Currall, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Southern Methodist University
  • Robert Frank, former President, University of New Mexico
  • Patricia Hurn, Dean, University of Michigan School of Nursing
  • Joyce McConnell, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, West Virginia University
  • Sibrandes Poppema, President, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
  • Gregory Postel, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, University of Louisville
  • Jeffrey Vitter, Chancellor, University of Mississippi

The list also includes the first applicant with ties to USF – former trustee and alum, Manatee County School district board member Scott Hopes.
The 15-member USF Presidential Search Committee and a handful of candidates will be busy next week.

First, they’ll meet on the Tampa campus Monday, March 18, to review applicants and narrow down the pool to at least three finalists.

Those candidates will then take part in a three-day series of public interviews and forums.

  • Wednesday, March 20 – interview with the search committee on the Tampa campus
  • Thursday, March 21 – moderated candidate conversations on the USF Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses
  • Friday, March 22 – interview with the USF Board of Trustees on the Tampa campus

At the conclusion of the final session, the board hopes to choose a new president to replace Genshaft.
"We will conduct this search meeting and candidate interviews in settings that are open to the public,” Search Committee chair Les Muma told the USF Board of Trustees last week. “Every meeting we have will be open to the public. Transparency and public engagement is very important in this process."

Genshaft will step down effective July first, ending a nineteen-year tenure at USF.

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