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Four finalists emerge in university’s search for a new president

USF trustees plan to select Judy Genshaft’s successor on Friday.

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  • | 9:44 a.m. March 19, 2019
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USF could know the identity of its next president on Friday. Courtesy photo.
USF could know the identity of its next president on Friday. Courtesy photo.
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TAMPA — The University of South Florida has chosen four finalists in its search for a successor to USF System President Judy Genshaft, who plans to retire in July after leading the institution for 19 years.

According to a news release, the finalists are:

  • Wanda Blanchett, interim provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at Rutgers University New Brunswick;
  • Steve Currall, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Southern Methodist University;
  • Debasish (Deba) Dutta, distinguished professor of engineering and former chancellor at Rutgers University New Brunswick; and
  • Jeffrey Vitter, distinguished professor of computer and information science and former chancellor at the University of Mississippi.

The 15-member presidential search committee will conduct public interviews with the candidates on Wednesday, the release states. On Thursday, candidate conversations, also open to the public, will be conducted at USF Tampa, USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota-Manatee.

According to the release, the USF board of trustees will publicly interview each finalist on Friday, March 22, and then meet afterward, starting at 3 p.m., to choose a new president for the university. The trustees’ choice must then be confirmed by the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system, at a March 28 meeting in Tallahassee.

A full schedule of candidate interviews and conversations can be found at USF’s presidential search website.


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