THE ROLE OF THE PROVOST AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS
As the chief academic officer of the University of South Florida, the Provost works to aid in USF’s mission and strategic goals in delivering competitive undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to generate knowledge and foster intellectual development, ensuring student success in a global environment. The Provost serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet and represents the interests of the faculty. In partnership with the faculty and other academic and administrative leaders, the Provost works to enhance academic and instructional quality; develop and sustain an inclusive institutional culture and infrastructure that promotes the recruitment, retention, and professional development of USF faculty; drive services and programs that promote the success of the University's students; promote and support a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment; and ensure the University's infrastructure continues to support the University’s overall academic and research mission. The Provost has budgetary responsibility for $626 million, allocated in inclusive and transparent processes.
The Provost Leadership Team includes the following:
- Special Assistant to the Provost
- Director of Strategic Communications and Engagement
- Senior Vice Provost & Dean, Office of Graduate Studies
- Vice President, USF World
- Vice Provost for Strategic Planning, Performance & Accountability
- Associate Vice President for Innovative Education
- Vice President for Student Success
- Vice Provost for Labor Relations & Academic Space Planning
- Vice Provost & Associate Vice President, Strategic Talent Recruitment, University Reputation and Impact
- Associate Vice President, Office of Decision Support
The Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs also oversees the nine degree-granting colleges under Academic Affairs, the Judy Genshaft Honors College, and the USF Libraries. The office also works in close coordination as the support for the chief academic officer with the Senior Vice President for USF Health who oversees the four USF Health colleges. Each of the colleges offers an extensive range of degree and specialty programs, many allowing students to focus on a particular discipline while exploring other areas of interest across the University. Learn more about these colleges and their leadership here.
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
As America’s fastest-rising University, located in the dynamic, metropolitan Tampa Bay region, USF is an ambitious institution and eager to take advantage of this moment of transition to look toward its future and position itself to continue on this upward trajectory. The incoming Provost will be welcomed by an engaged and dedicated community of faculty, staff, students, and other senior leaders, with whom the Provost will cultivate trusting and productive relationships. In addition to providing operational and strategic leadership across the academic program at USF, the next Provost will embrace the following opportunities and challenges:
Continue to strengthen the University’s research enterprise and support faculty excellence:
During the past 20 years, USF has been very successful in improving its academic and research portfolio, vaulting it to the fastest-rising university in the country. However, while the University has been successful in growing its research programs over the past two decades, reaching future goals will require USF to support the architecture of academic excellence by improving its underlying academic infrastructure. As USF continues on a trajectory of research portfolio growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship, it will be vital for the Provost to plan for ongoing resource investment in institutional research facilities and administration and to continue to attract, support, and retain excellent faculty.
Champion student success:
A commitment to student success is a hallmark of the USF experience, one supported by dedicated faculty and staff who believe in USF’s mission and purpose as an urban institution. With one of the most diverse student bodies amongst top research institutions, USF is especially proud of the success it has had supporting students with high-impact educational experiences, pedagogical excellence from faculty, and support for student engagement and co-curricular activities. In 2019, USF was awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, recognizing the University’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate education. The next Provost will have the opportunity to lead these efforts by fostering a culture of collaborative strategic innovation, and will work closely with admissions, enrollment services, and student affairs leadership to strengthen the links between students’ academic success and overall development and well-being, sense of shared learning, reflection, and engagement.
Leverage connections across the University:
The next Provost will have the opportunity to work across USF’s campuses, colleges, schools, and academic and health entities to connect leaders, promote collaboration, and share best practices. The next Provost should be a visible and accessible leader, regularly spending time with faculty, students, and staff across the University.
Develop strong relationships with external stakeholders:
Along with visible and accessible leadership across USF’s three campuses, the next Provost will also have the opportunity to develop deep relationships with external stakeholders, including other provosts across the state university system, USF’s Board of Trustees, and the Florida Board of Governors. The next Provost will also capitalize on the rich potential of the growing metropolitan region. With engaged chambers of commerce, innovation districts, and an enthusiastic and growing tech sector, there is unprecedented opportunity for USF to deepen relationships within its communities and develop partnerships to impact the issues critical to these communities.
Empower leadership across the organization:
USF benefits from a cohesive group of talented deans and senior leadership. The next Provost will have the opportunity to empower their leadership, ensuring that the next phase of the University’s growth comes from an expanded leadership core. This will include attracting and supporting a growing number of preeminent faculty members and scholars, providing deans with additional tools and decision-making power when recruiting new faculty, and implementing a new budgeting model that allocates funding under a more strategic, transparent, and predictable process.
Use data, metrics, and analytics to advance the institution:
USF’s successful rise in the rankings has been fueled by a strategic use of data and performance indicators. Supported by a strong Office of Decision Support, the next Provost will have the opportunity to continue to focus on appropriate and ambitious metrics, sharpening USF’s aspirations while using a sophisticated understanding of data and analytics to fuel further growth and measure its impact on the students, the community, and the state. Successful performance management is also critical to Florida’s performance-based funding formula and Preeminence program.
Support a diverse and inclusive community for learning and discovery:
The next Provost will play an essential role in promoting the inclusive excellence connectivity across all USF campuses. Strengthening a university culture supportive of and dedicated to the success of a diverse faculty, staff, and student body is paramount. USF’s strategic plan outlines specific objectives the University has set to ensure USF is a diverse and inclusive community for learning and discovery.
Propel One USF:
As USF continues its institutional transformation that will further align and better integrate all campuses, the next Provost will play a key leadership role in guiding USF’s efforts as a consolidated One USF. USF has implemented a consolidation process aimed to create a seamless integration of programs and services among its three campuses. Along with President Law and senior leadership, the next Provost will lead the final stages of consolidation, fostering an environment that harnesses the strengths and attributes of each individual campus while leveraging the University’s collective strength. It will be important for the next Provost to collaborate to provide and empower each campus with the flexibility necessary to address the distinct needs of its local community, while also addressing existing equity issues including compensation, teaching, and research expectations. Consolidation provides additional opportunities for programmatic diversity across campuses as well as expanded interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty in research, teaching, and learning.
DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS
The ideal candidate will have substantial administrative experience appropriate to the size and complexity of the Provost role, and a distinguished record of teaching, scholarship, and service that would merit appointment as a full professor at the University of South Florida. They should also bring the following complementary skills and experiences to their work:
- An innovative and entrepreneurial approach to higher education leadership, with an appreciationfor USF’s institutional objectives, trajectory and unique strengths;
- Demonstrated experience at the R1 university level building consensus and collaboratively leadingdiverse constituent groups toward the achievement of a shared strategic vision;
- A vision for the possibilities of a thriving, metropolitan research university in the 21st century;
- A deep commitment for a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment and a demonstratedrecord of building such an institutional culture;
- A communication style that is direct and transparent, as well as superb listening skills;
- Visible and accessible leadership, with the willingness to be present for faculty, staff, and studentson all campuses;
- Budgetary and financial management skills sufficient to oversee a large office and a complexorganization;
- A strong track record of successful personnel management, including experience mentoringtalented faculty, staff, administrators, and students to perform at their best;
- Experience working within and fostering a culture of innovation and transformation supportingacademic excellence within a top-tier research institution;
- High emotional intelligence, flexibility, and self-confidence to enable successful navigation of acomplex and thriving institution;
- A demonstrated track record of high standards, character, and integrity;
- Experience establishing effective systems and processes to ensure clarity and consistency inacademic affairs operations;
- Experience successfully leading complex strategic initiatives and translating high aspirations intoachievable and measurable accomplishments, including a sophisticated use of data and analytics;
- A proven ability to oversee, direct, and manage data acquisition and analysis to advance andachieve key performance metrics and performance-based funding goals;
- Political savvy and the ability to build strong relationships internally as well as externally with theUSF Board of Trustees, the Florida Board of Governors, and the political leadership in the State ofFlorida as required in a public university setting;
- An understanding of the collaborative leadership structure within higher education, the nature ofthe academic enterprise, and a commitment to the mission, vision, and institutional priorities ofthe University of South Florida; and,
- An earned Ph.D. or equivalent degree in a disciplinary area consistent with the program ofinstruction and research at the University of South Florida
In accordance with the State of Florida’s open records laws, all applications and letters of interest will be made public. For best consideration, please send all nominations and applications to:
Shelly Weiss Storbeck, Global Education Practice
Lead and Managing Director
Lisa Solinsky, Senior Associate
Abby Kallin, Associate
For more information, please visit USF’s home page at www.usf.edu.
The University of South Florida celebrates diversity and inclusive excellence in alignment with our institutional mission. We believe our future success as an institution requires that we attract and retain a diverse workforce. We are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and an affirmative action employer. All job decisions at USF are made without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion or belief, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate.
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