University of South Florida


An update on the search for USF’s next Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Dear USF Faculty and Staff:

I would like to share an update on the search for USF’s next Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

When we unveiled our new Strategic Plan this past year, we underscored not only our core values of Inquiry, Innovation, Integrity, and Inclusion, but also our steadfast commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. These guiding values and commitments define who we are as an institution and shape our bold path forward as the nation’s fastest-rising university.

True to the spirit of our aptly named Strategic Plan – “In Pursuit of Excellence” – we are now ready to launch the search for a talented, driven, and proven Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Members of the Search Advisory Committee are:

  • Dr. Sylvia Thomas, Chair; Interim Vice President for Research & Innovation
  • Dr. Bárbara Cruz, Vice Chair; Professor, College of Education
  • Dr. Robert Bishop, Dean, College of Engineering
  • Tammy Briant Spratling, CEO, Community Tampa Bay
  • Adam Caskie, Director, Office of Decision Support
  • Dr. Denise Davis-Cotton, Director, Florida Center for Partnerships in Arts-Integrated Teaching, USF Sarasota-Manatee campus; Co-Chair, USF Committee on Black Affairs
  • Carrie Hepburn-Brown, Strategic Director of Engagement, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg
  • Jennifer Iceton, Academic Services Administrator, College of Arts and Sciences; member, USF Committee on Issues of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
  • Dr. Antoinette Jackson, Professor and Chair, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Winston G. Jones Sr., Associate Dean of Students
  • Kevin Lee, Academic Advisor, Judy Genshaft Honors College
  • Dr. Michelle Madden, Campus Diversity Officer, USF St. Petersburg campus; member, USF Committee on Black Affairs
  • Deborah McCarthy, Director, Student Accessibility Services and Chair, USF Committee on Accessibility
  • Dr. Mónica Miranda, Director, Center for Student Involvement; member, USF Status of Latinos Committee
  • Dr. Alexis Mootoo, Associate Vice President, Resource Management & Development
  • LaKendria Robinson, Founder and CEO, The Orenda Collective
  • Brian Serrano, City of Tampa Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council
  • Dr. Christian Wells, Professor and Director, College of Arts and Sciences

To further assist with this search, we have contracted Gans, Gans & Associates to assist with finalizing the position description, developing an aggressive national search process, and recruiting a robust and diverse pool of qualified candidates. Members of the USF community will have opportunities to engage in the search through listening sessions and town halls with finalists.

We have made tremendous strides in our diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, benefiting from the guidance and leadership over the past year from Interim Vice President for Institutional Equity Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman.

At USF, we have closed the achievement gap across race for graduation rates, and we have refocused our steadfast support of students, faculty, and staff by reorganizing the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. But there is still much more to be done. I want to thank in advance the members of this committee for their service and participation.


Rhea F. Law

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