University of South Florida


Our new provost and executive vice president of academic affairs

Dear USF community,

I am pleased to announce that Prasant Mohapatra, Ph.D. will join the University of South Florida as our next Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs. With his strong teaching, research and leadership experience, I am confident Dr. Mohapatra will build on our momentum and take USF to new heights of academic excellence. 

He will begin his appointment on March 1.

Dr. Mohapatra comes to USF from the University of California, Davis, where he has served as vice chancellor for research since 2018. A distinguished professor in the Department of Computer Science, Dr. Mohapatra has held multiple leadership positions at UC Davis, including dean and vice provost of graduate studies, associate chancellor, interim vice provost and CIO, and chair of the Department of Computer Science. Through these roles, he has gained extensive experience in a variety of critical areas that align with our strategic plan, including student success; faculty excellence; recruitment; diversity, equity and inclusion; and financial oversight and planning.

Dr. Mohapatra, who earned his doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University, is a Fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is an accomplished researcher in the fields of wireless networks, mobile communications, cybersecurity and internet protocols, and he co-holds eight U.S. patents. I invite you to learn more about him here.

When I became president, I said that one of my first and most important priorities was the selection of our next provost – a decision I did not take lightly. Throughout our national search, including last fall after we brought the first four finalists to USF for campus visits, we remained committed to continuing with the process until we found the best possible fit for USF. I believe Dr. Mohapatra has the right vision and experience to help advance the trajectory of our university.

I am very appreciative of the hard work of our search committee under the leadership of Chair John Ramil and Vice Chair Balaji Padmanabhan, as well as our search firm, Storbeck Search. Thank you to all our faculty and staff who participated and provided valuable input throughout this process. I also am grateful to Dr. Eric Eisenberg, who has served as our interim provost and executive vice president and who will step into a newly created role in my cabinet as senior vice president of university-community partnerships.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Mohapatra and welcoming him to the USF family.


Rhea F. Law

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