Monday, December 11, 2017
Editorials

Editorial: Promising new chapter at USF St. Petersburg

The hiring this week of a new chancellor for the University of South Florida St. Petersburg opens a new chapter at an evolving campus with even more potential. Language scholar Sophia Wisniewska will be the first competitively selected leader since the campus achieved individual accreditation seven years ago, and she comes with significant experience in running similar institutions. USF president Judy Genshaft has chosen well.

With just under 6,000 students, USF St. Petersburg will be the fourth regional campus that Wisniewska has run. She most recently served as chancellor of the 1,700-student Penn State Brandywine. Before that, she was dean and CEO of two campuses for Temple University. That experience of navigating campus needs within the dynamics of a regional system should prove invaluable as she maps a five-year plan for USF St. Petersburg.

The new chancellor's most obvious challenges will be finding money to build a home for the business school, further expanding student housing and fighting off the occasional attempts by meddling legislators to make the campus an independent institution. But the community will also look to her to provide an even broader vision of how the campus can better serve students and the community.

Wisniewska will arrive as the favorite of those in St. Petersburg, not necessarily just the USF administration in Tampa. That's a contrast to the last go-around, when Genshaft hired the previous chancellor, Margaret Sullivan, on a short-term basis to address an accreditation problem and then made the appointment permanent. (Since August, the school has been led on an interim basis by the former dean of the USF College of Marine Science, Bill Hogarth, who did not make the list of finalists.) Those who met Wisniewska last month during her interviews called her charming and said she was easily the favorite of three candidates among students and faculty.

Wisniewska is an experienced leader with a campus already excited about her arrival. That is promising not just for USF St. Petersburg, but for the entire community.

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Editorial: U.S. House sides with NRA over stateís rights on concealed weapons permits

With the horror of the mass shootings at a Las Vegas country music concert and a small Texas church still fresh, the U.S. House finally has taken action on guns. But the bill it passed last week wonít make Americans safer from gun violence. It is an ...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

Editorial: Hillsborough cannot afford pay raises for teachers

There is no satisfaction for anyone in the standoff over pay raises between the Hillsborough County School District and its teachers. Most teachers across the nation already are underpaid, but this district simply cannot afford the raises teachers ex...
Published: 12/07/17
Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

Editorial: Impact of Water Street project extends beyond buildings

With a buildout of $3 billion encompassing entire city blocks, itís obvious that Jeff Vinikís plans will change the look and feel of downtown Tampa. But the Tampa Bay Lightning owner unveiled a broader vision last week that reflects how far the impac...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/08/17
Editorial: Make texting while driving a primary offense

Editorial: Make texting while driving a primary offense

It is dangerous and illegal to text while driving in Florida, and police should be able to pull over and ticket those lawbreakers without witnessing another violation first. House Speaker Richard Corcoran has lent his powerful voice to legislation th...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Editorial: Outsourcing common sense on St. Petersburg Pier naming rights

St. Petersburg officials predict that selling the naming rights to parts of the new Pier could generate $100,000 in annual revenue. But first the city wants to pay a consultant to tell it how and to whom to sell the rights. Why do city officials need...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17

Another voice: Trumpís risky move

President Donald Trumpís decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israelís capital has a certain amount of common sense on its side. As a practical matter, West Jerusalem has been the seat of Israeli government since 1949, and no conceivable formula for Pa...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Editorial: Tampaís MOSI reinvents itself

Editorial: Tampaís MOSI reinvents itself

A tactical retreat and regrouping seems to be paying off for Hillsborough Countyís Museum of Science and Industry. After paring back its operations, the museum posted a small profit over the past year, enabling the attraction to keep its doors open a...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Times recommends: McClure for Florida House District 58

Times recommends: McClure for Florida House District 58

Voters in Temple Terrace, Plant City and Thonotosassa have an easy choice in the Dec. 19 special election to replace state Rep. Dan Raulerson, who resigned for health reasons. Republican Lawrence McClure is the only credible candidate.McClure, 30, ow...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/07/17
Editorial: Still waiting for flood insurance fix

Editorial: Still waiting for flood insurance fix

It has been 1,979 days since all heck broke loose in the flood insurance industry. Apparently, that just wasnít enough time for Washington to react. So with the National Flood Insurance Program set to expire on Friday, itís looking increasingly likel...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17

Editorial: St. Petersburg should raise rates for reclaimed water

Raising rates on reclaimed water in St. Petersburg is an equitable way to spread the pain of paying for millions in fixes to the cityís dilapidated sewer system. The city has no choice but to start charging utility customers more as the sewer bills c...
Published: 12/05/17
Updated: 12/06/17