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USF has a big question: What should we look for in a new president?

An online survey launched Monday will gather public input through Sept. 30.
Banners fly from the Student Services breezeway on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida, which is seeking input about its next president. An online survey was announced Monday.
Banners fly from the Student Services breezeway on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida, which is seeking input about its next president. An online survey was announced Monday. [ MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]
Published Sep. 20
Updated Sep. 20

The University of South Florida on Monday launched an online survey to seek community input on its presidential search.

The seven-question survey allows participants to list short-term and long-term challenges and opportunities they believe the new president will face. It also asks them to weigh in on what qualifications and “personal qualities” that person should have “in order to be a strong cultural ‘fit’” at USF.

Related: USF expects to hire a new president by January

Members of the public have until Sept. 30 to respond. A president search committee for the university will use the results as it works to choose USF’s eighth permanent president by January. The new leader will succeed Steve Currall, who abruptly left over the summer after two years in the job.

The university is working with the firm SP&A Executive Search, which earlier this year conducted the president search at Florida State University. At the first meeting of USF’s search committee last week, SP&A executive Alberto Pimentel said he’s already been talking to a dozen prospective candidates and that all major research university presidents and provosts will be considered targets.

Pimentel and search committee chairperson Mike Griffin plan a listening tour to meet with people on all three USF campuses. They also plan to begin advertising for the position in higher education publications.

Members of the public who want to add their comments can register to speak at future search committee meetings. The meeting schedule will be posted here.

The committee aims to start interviewing candidates by November.