USF provost responds to dean's resignation
UPDATE: Provost Ralph Wilcox has named Eric Eisenberg, former longtime chairman of USF's department of communications, to lead the College of Arts and Sciences temporarily. Wilcox told Gradebook that Eisenberg is a "national authority" on organizational change and leadership - and the college will be going through some major organizational changes.
“These are difficult times," Wilcox said. "But I think we have a real opportunity to get things right. But it means we have to do things differently, and we’re going to look different.”
In response to the resignation of USF's liberal arts dean, Provost Ralph Wilcox sent out this e-mail this morning to faculty:
To: Faculty and Staff, College of Arts and Sciences
From: Ralph C. Wilcox, Provost and Senior Vice President
Subject: College Leadership
Date: June 9, 2008
You may already have heard that Dr. John Skvoretz will step down as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences effective August 6, 2008. I would like to take this opportunity to thank John for his broad contributions in steering the College through a critically important period, over the past four years, as USF has strengthened its position as a national research university.
As I have regularly acknowledged, we all recognize that a very strong College of Arts and Sciences is essential to USF’s future. Since Fall 2004, Dean Skvoretz has guided the College through a period of growth in student and faculty headcount, degree productivity, and increases in external research funding. He has also brought a new appreciation to the importance of data analysis in informing decisions in the College. Today, Florida’s public universities are faced with a significant loss of public funding, a condition that will demand transformational, energized and innovative leadership with an increased focus on faculty recruitment and retention, enhanced scholarly productivity, improvements in undergraduate and graduate student success, interdisciplinary collaboration, global and community engagement, and fundraising.
Moreover, the coming months and years will call for some difficult decision-making as we continue to focus on our strategic path to the future. To this end, I look forward to working with College leaders, chairs and faculty in immediately moving forward to initiate a national search for our next dean. I expect to follow-up with you shortly in announcing the appointment of an interim dean and plans for the College’s future. Meanwhile, I trust you are enjoying a productive Summer, at least in a scholarly sense, and that you manage to find some time for rest and regeneration.