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Business Observer Monday, Jul. 19, 2021 1 week ago

University president steps down after just two years

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Steven C. Currall leaving as president of the University of South Florida just two years after taking over

TAMPA —University of South Florida President Steven C. Currall is stepping down two years after taking over the reins of one of the state’s largest schools.

Currall made the announcement Monday July 19. His last day will be August 2.

In a statement, he cited personal reasons for his decision to step away now.

“The intensity of the past two years has put a strain on my health and my family,” he says in the statement. “Therefore, after thoughtful reflection, I have decided to retire from the USF presidency to ensure that I preserve my health, as well as to spend more time with my wife, Cheyenne, and my 91-year-old father.”

Currall joined USF in 2019, taking over for Judy Genshaft who had led the university for 19 years. Before coming to Tampa, he was provost and vice president of academic affairs at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

According to the statement released by USF, Currall will stay at the university as tenured full professor at the school of business. He will research and teach organizational psychology.

USF’s provost and executive vice president Ralph Wilcox will take over as acting president until the Board of Trustees can vote on interim president. There are no immediate details on the search for a permanent replacement for Currall or a time frame for how long the search will take.

While Currall’s time as president of USF was short, it was eventful.

He was at the helm of the school as it dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, which upended how, when and where students learned and put a massive strain on both academics and budgets — USF saw its funding cut by $38.7 million. 

Currall, to help offset the cuts took a voluntary 15% pay cut, dropping his $575,000 annual salary by $86,250 to $488,750. 

Amongst his other accomplishments while in office, USF, according to the statement, “consolidated all three campuses into a single-accredited university, USF broke into the top 50 among public universities on U.S. News and World Report’s rankings for the first time, USF raised approximately $230 million, construction moved forward on numerous state-of-the-art campus facilities and a 10-year strategic plan was developed that provides the vision for USF to advance toward its goals of becoming a top 25 public university and joining the Association of American Universities.”

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