Office of the President

President's Biography

Dr. STEVEn c. CURRALL

University of South Florida
President and CEO/Corporate Secretary

Steven C. Currall became the seventh president of the University of South Florida on July 1, 2019.

Dr. Currall brings to the presidency a broad range of academic leadership experience at high-performing research universities and private institutions. He has held appointments at institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) -- the group of top research universities in the U.S. and Canada to which USF aspires – including the University of California, Davis, Rice University, and the University of Chicago. He also has held appointments at universities with multiple campuses.

He has conducted research and taught for three decades on organizational psychology topics such as innovation, emerging technologies, negotiation and corporate governance.  At USF, he is a tenured professor.  He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, elected in 2013 for the study of societal impacts of science and engineering. In addition, he served as a member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group at the invitation of the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. 

Dr. Currall has been a grantee on $21.5 million in external funding, of which more than 78 percent came from refereed research grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institutes of Health. Dr. Currall was lead author of a book on university-business-government collaboration entitled, Organized Innovation: A Blueprint for Renewing America's Prosperity (Oxford University Press). The book, which is based on a study funded by the NSF, was the culmination of a 10-year research project on interdisciplinary research involving science, engineering and medicine.

Previously, Dr. Currall served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Southern Methodist University in Dallas from 2016 to 2019. In that role, he oversaw all academic colleges/schools, as well as SMU Libraries, the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, the Division of Enrollment Services, curriculum, Institutional Planning and Effectiveness, Institutional Research, International Center, Center for Teaching Excellence, the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, two satellite campuses and SMU Global and Online. Dr. Currall also was the David B. Miller Endowed Professor and held academic appointments in the Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and the Lyle School of Engineering. 

During his time at SMU, he served on the University Advisory Committee, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute (CPRIT) of Texas, a $3 billion statewide initiative to fund groundbreaking cancer research and prevention programs.

Dr. Currall held a number of positions at the University of California, Davis, from 2009 to 2016. He served as senior advisor to the chancellor for strategic projects and initiatives, which included co-chairing a campus-wide strategic visioning exercise to position UC Davis as a "University of the 21st Century." Dr. Currall also co-chaired a committee charged with growing research expenditures from $780 million to $1 billion; this year, expenditures totaled $849 million. He also led planning for an additional campus in the Sacramento region.  Prior to the chancellor’s office, Dr. Currall served as the dean of the Graduate School of Management for over five years.

From 2010 to 2015, Dr. Currall was vice chair of the board of directors and member of the executive committee for the 10-campus University of California Global Health Institute.  During his time in California, he also served on the Board of Directors of the California Life Sciences Association.

At University College London, where he served from 2005 to 2009, Dr. Currall was the founding chair of the Department of Management Science and Innovation in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences, where he was also a vice dean. Dr. Currall also was the founding director of UCL Advances, an entrepreneurship center. During the same time period, he was a visiting professor of organizational behavior and entrepreneurship at the London Business School, a joint appointment with University College London.

From 1993 to 2005, Dr. Currall served in a variety of faculty roles at Rice University in Houston, including the William and Stephanie Sick Professorship of Entrepreneurship, a $2.5 million endowed professorship in the George R. Brown School of Engineering. He was also a tenured associate professor in the Jones Graduate School of Management.  At Rice, he founded the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which assisted in the launch of more than 160 new technology start-up companies. Those firms raised in excess of $300 million in equity capital.

During 2003, Dr. Currall was a visiting scholar in the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

He has served as a member of several editorial review boards, including Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, and Organization Science. He has been quoted more than 600 times in a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Financial Times, Business Week, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television, and the Nightly Business Report on public television.

Dr. Currall earned a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Cornell University, a master’s degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology (cum laude) from Baylor University.

A native of Kansas City, Mo., he is married to Cheyenne Currall, Ph.D.

Read President Currall's CV.