Dear faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends,
On a daily basis, I am reminded of the extraordinary honor of working with you to further articulate our shared vision for the University of South Florida’s future and to collaborate in achieving that vision.
For the entire USF community, the past two years have been a challenging and intense journey due to, for example: consolidating as one accredited university, the global COVID-19 crisis and its myriad impacts, complex racial divides in our society, and state budgetary fluctuations.
In the face of those challenges and others, you have shown tremendous resiliency and the power of our community. As a result, we have achieved many significant milestones, including several key outcomes: The completion of the university’s 10-year strategic plan, presenting a university budget for fiscal year 2022, and redoubling our commitment to promoting equity, inclusivity and diversity within our campus community.
All of USF’s milestones have been reached by drawing upon our Principles of Community, a heroic can-do spirit and sheer hard work. I am so proud of what we have achieved together.
On a personal level, the demands of the president’s role are immense. The intensity of the past two years has put a strain on my health and my family. Therefore, after thoughtful reflection, I have decided to retire from the USF presidency to ensure that I preserve my health, as well as to spend more time with my wife, Cheyenne, and my 91-year-old father.
I have informed Will Weatherford, Chair of the USF Board of Trustees, that I intend to retire from the presidency and, after some much-needed rest, devote my focus to serving in my role as a faculty member in the Muma College of Business.
This decision was not made lightly. During the past few months, I explored with Board of Trustees members how long I may wish to remain as president and the timing of my decision. In those discussions, we were mindful of both the university milestones we aimed to reach and my personal health and family considerations.
In consultation with Chair Weatherford, we agreed that I will make the change before the new academic year, which is a logical transition point in the academic calendar. The effective date for my retirement from the presidency is August 2.
I am confident that our achievements have put the university on an even stronger foundation to reach our aspirations of becoming a top-25 public university and becoming eligible for membership in the Association of American Universities.
I wish to thank each of you again for the extraordinary honor of serving as USF president. I am eager to continue as an active member of the USF community as I return to the work that brought me to higher education — my research, teaching and public service. In addition to my professorial work in the Muma College, I will be available to the university community in whatever capacity is needed.
I remain committed to advancing the mission of this wonderful university and to advancing overall prosperity and opportunity in the Tampa Bay region. I am sincerely grateful to each of you for your partnership during my presidency and our work to propel USF’s outstanding trajectory.
President and Professor