University of South Florida


An update on our search for a new vice president

Dear USF community,

I am writing to share an important update on our search for a Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

We recognize that there has been significant media coverage recently regarding higher education policies in Florida, including elected officials requesting information from all state universities and colleges. While some initial proposals have been shared and reported in the media, we do not know the details of what the actual legislation will contain. 

Given the uncertainty surrounding any laws or regulations that may eventually come from these requests and proposals, there are too many unknowns to proceed with our current search.  As such, our search committee has decided to pause the search and reassess our next steps.

I would like to extend my appreciation to the committee and its leadership, Chair Sylvia Thomas and Vice Chair Bárbara Cruz, for their commitment to this process, as well as to search firm Gans, Gans & Associates for their support. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Tricia Penniecook, who had been serving as Interim Vice President.  Tricia has decided to return to the College of Public Health to serve as Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development. I am deeply grateful for her continued service to USF. 

The University of South Florida is committed to fostering an inclusive community of empathy, collaboration, learning and discovery on our campuses and providing access and opportunity for individuals of all backgrounds. We remain steadfast in our support for academic excellence, civil discourse and the exchange of ideas.

We will share additional updates as they are available. Thank you for all you do to help create an environment of support and belonging within our university community. 


Rhea F. Law 


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