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USF names Prasant Mohapatra as its new provost

Headshot of Indian man wearing glasses and a suit. He's smiling as he looks at the camera.
University of California, Davis
Prasant Mohapatra, the vice chancellor for research at the University of California, Davis, will become the provost at the University of South Florida March 1, 2023.

New USF Provost Prasant Mohapatra has been the vice chancellor for research at the University of California, Davis since 2018.

After a national search, the University of South Florida has found its new provost.

Prasant Mohapatra is scheduled to formally take the position March 1. He'll also serve as executive vice president of academic affairs.

Mohapatra has been the vice chancellor for research at the University of California, Davis since 2018. He's taught computer science and held a number of leadership positions at the university for almost twenty years.

“I am excited to welcome Dr. Mohapatra to the University of South Florida family,” said USF President Rhea Law in a press release. “His extensive teaching, research and leadership experience will help build on our momentum and take USF to new heights of academic excellence.”

Mohapatra previously taught at Iowa State University and Michigan State University, as well as schools in Australia and Singapore. He's also served as visiting professor at Intel and Panasonic.

He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. A USF press release says he's an accomplished researcher in the fields of wireless networks, mobile communications, cybersecurity and internet protocols, and co-holds eight U.S. patents.

He received his doctorate in computer engineering at Pennsylvania State University, his master's degree in mathematics at the University of Rhode Island, and his bachelor of science in electrical engineering at the National Institute of Technology in India.

“I am honored to accept this role and to join the University of South Florida community,” Mohapatra said in a press release. “As I learned about this opportunity, I became deeply impressed with how the university is transforming the lives of its students, addressing some of society’s most challenging issues through high-impact faculty research and serving the Tampa Bay region with its commitment to strong community partnerships. USF is clearly an institution on the rise, and I look forward to helping us achieve our strategic goals and aspirations.”

Mohapatra's full CV can be found here.

The search for a provost began shortly after longtime provost Ralph Wilcox announced in November 2021 that he would retire last spring. Four finalists were brought to USF for campus visits in October 2022, but university officials decided a month later to seek additional candidates.

Eric Eisenberg, who has served as provost on an interim basis and was one of those four finalists, will take on the role of senior vice president of university-community partnerships.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.