ST. PETERSBURG — One year after she was brought in to help the University of South Florida St. Petersburg get off probation, Margaret Sullivan on Friday was named the school's regional chancellor.
Sullivan, an expert on the college accreditation process, was named interim regional chancellor in December 2008.
USF St. Petersburg is an independently accredited institution within the USF system. Among Sullivan's immediate challenges was correcting shortfalls that led to the school being placed on probation. It had failed to meet two accrediting standards that involve measuring student progress.
Within six months of her arrival, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges visited the school again and restored it to good standing.
On Friday, USF system president Judy Genshaft announced that after meeting with faculty, students and staff at USF St. Petersburg in recent weeks, she decided to remove the "interim" from Sullivan's job title. She praised Sullivan as "decisive, visionary and inclusive."
"Dr. Sullivan has managed the institution during trying financial times," Genshaft said in a memo to faculty and staff. "She has worked with campus and community leaders, and is re-examining the strategic plan. She has been an important colleague in the USF system."
Sullivan, 65, is paid $250,000 annually and has a contract that goes through the summer of 2013.
Sullivan said she couldn't "help but feel good" about the school getting off probation. But she was even more pleased that it had protected faculty and staff and "directed resources toward quality programs" during hard financial times.
Before coming to USF, Sullivan was president of the Southeastern Consulting Group on Higher Education. That experience followed her work as director of the consulting network of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
As a consultant, she has helped more than 200 institutions and university systems in the southeastern United States as well as Ecuador, Nicaragua, Mexico and the Virgin Islands.
She also served as assistant vice president of academic services at Georgia State University and as vice president for academic affairs at Brenau University in Georgia.
Richard Danielson can be reached at Danielson@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3403.