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USF interim school dean chosen

University of South Florida president Judy Genshaft on Friday named Dr. Robert J. Belsole as the interim dean of the medical school, replacing Robert Daugherty, who recently was ordered to resign.

Belsole, currently the associate dean of clinical affairs at the USF medical school, will oversee 2,900 employees and nearly 1,800 students in the colleges of medicine, nursing and public health. Starting Monday, his official title will be interim vice president for health sciences and dean of medicine.

"We are fortunate that someone of Dr. Belsole's stature has agreed to serve in this interim capacity," Genshaft said.

In mid October, Daugherty was ordered to resign just days after Genshaft admonished him for asking his staff to contribute to the U.S. Senate campaign of state House Speaker Johnnie Byrd.

Belsole, 60, came to USF in 1977 as a founding member of the orthopedics faculty. He is an authority on hand surgery whose research focuses on wrist reconstruction and nerve compression syndromes.

Belsole is expected to serve as the interim dean for more than a year as USF conducts a national search for a permanent dean. Belsole said he told Genshaft that he wants to be considered for that position.

"I'm appreciative that the president had enough confidence in me, and I hope I'm up to the task," Belsole said.

_ Staff reports