University of South Florida


Graphic says, "welcoming the new College of Arts and Sciences Dean Elizabeth Spiller"

USF names new dean for the College of Arts and Sciences

By Althea Johnson, University Communications and Marketing

The University of South Florida today announced the appointment of Elizabeth Spiller as the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Spiller has more than 10 years of experience as an academic leader, having served most recently as the executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

As the new dean, Spiller will lead the largest USF college, comprised of approximately 18,000 students, 700 faculty members, and more than 225 staff members across the university’s three campuses. Her role will encompass a wide range of responsibilities, from guiding the recruitment, development and retention of faculty and staff, to advancing the college’s research and teaching programs, as well as fostering strong relationships with the college’s alumni, friends, donors and advisory councils. In addition, Spiller will work closely within the university on interdisciplinary programs, joint faculty appointments, strategic academic initiatives and advancing student success.

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Spiller as the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences,” USF Provost and Executive Vice President Prasant Mohapatra said. “Dr. Spiller has a deep commitment to the liberal arts and sciences, recognizing the opportunities to leverage academic and research expertise to elevate the college’s profile, enhance USF’s position as a member of the Association of American Universities and advance our goal to be ranked as a Top 25 public university.”

Spiller has experience boosting student access and success while managing multi-site academic programs at high-impact research institutions, facilitating interdisciplinary research partnerships and undertaking successful fundraising initiatives across the arts and sciences. As a distinguished scholar of English, her work intersects the disciplines of literature, history and science, reflecting her diverse academic interests and expertise.

Before her tenure at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Spiller spent three years as dean of the College of Letters and Science at the University of California, Davis, which like USF, is a member of the prestigious AAU. Spiller has also held leadership positions at Virginia Tech and Florida State University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Amherst College and both her master's degree and doctorate in English and American language and literature from Harvard University. 

“USF has been on an amazing journey these past 10 years, and the College of Arts and Sciences will be at the heart of what promises to be an equally exciting journey in the years ahead,” Spiller said. “I am honored and excited to be joining the college to advance research excellence, student achievement and the reach and profile of programs across the arts and sciences.”  

Spiller will officially join the USF community in her new position in July. 

USF’s College of Arts and Sciences integrates the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences to address complex social and scientific problems, enhancing the quality of life for people and communities. More information about the college can be found here

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