World-wise Dean for College of Business

Moez Limayem’s appointment as dean continues the globalization of a college and university.


Video by Katy Hennig | USF News


By Kevin Burke

Special to USF News


Tampa, Fla. (March 20, 2012) — Moez Limayem, a global scholar and researcher on information systems and emerging voice on the power of knowledge management and social media to shape world events, has been tapped as the next dean of the College of Business at the University of South Florida.


He is currently associate dean for research and graduate programs at the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business, where in addition to overseeing all graduate and executive education programs he supervises 11 outreach and research centers as well as the Global Engagement Office responsible for all of the college’s international collaborations and activities.


Previously a professor and director of the information systems graduate programs at Lausanne University in Switzerland, the Tunisian-born Limayem brings more than 17 years of experience in higher education and executive training gained in professional business, research and academic activities throughout North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.


Succeeding Robert Forsythe, dean since 2006, Limayem assumes leadership of the college as it prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of awarding its first baccalaureate degrees in business administration in 1963. He is expected to begin on the Tampa campus in July, charged with enhancing the college’s profile and resources, building program demand, and strengthening relationships with vital stakeholders including students, alumni, and local, national, and international leaders within the broader community.

“The university has invested particular time and energy in finding the right candidate to take on leadership of the College of Business at this exciting time in its history,” said Provost Ralph Wilcox, noting the recent launch of an undergraduate Business Honors Program for high-achieving incoming students — the first of its kind in the state — as well as a dual graduate degree program with the USF School of Sustainability to provide students enrolled in the MS in Global Sustainability the opportunity to pursue a track dedicated to entrepreneurship and green innovation.

A new MBA in Sport and Entertainment Management, the result of a collaboration with the Tampa Bay Lightning, also was announced in February. Such cooperative educational partnerships with an array of regional business sectors including health care, engineering, life sciences, real estate and advertising are a growing part of interdisciplinary education at USF, and expanding their number within the college will be a priority under Limayem.  

“While the College of Business has benefited from steady progress in recent years, there is an opportunity to more powerfully articulate the college’s distinctive identity and focused sense of purpose,” Wilcox continued. “We sought a dean with the creativity and innovative thinking to clarify and fine-tune the positioning of the college and ensure its continued success. Dean Limayem’s passion is coupled with an impressive portfolio of accomplishments from around the world. As USF pursues its strategic goal of being an institution with global impact, it needs a business dean with that kind of global perspective. Our collective patience has been well rewarded.”

Photo by Aimee Blodgett | USF News

"I have been very impressed by the excellent support that the College of Business has from the effervescent business community in the Tampa Bay area,” Limayem said. “I am excited, honored and proud to be appointed as dean of the College of Business at the University of South Florida. The outstanding quality of faculty, staff and students made my decision to join this great institution very easy, and I look forward to working with them and our community partners to further enhance the national and international standing of the college.”

Stemming in part from his work as a consultant for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), videos of Limayem dot the Internet, where he can be found in international television coverage discussing his work in information technology, centralized resource management, and electronic commerce in fluent French — a product of Tunisia’s former identity as a French protectorate. In addition to English, he also speaks Tunisian, understands Italian and knows “just enough Chinese to get into trouble,” having been a professor and director of the electronic commerce undergraduate program at the University of Hong Kong for six years prior to his move to Switzerland.


Limayem was in his native Tunisia at the start of the reformist protests that have led to the downfall of decades-long patriarchal regimes in that country as well as neighboring Egypt and Libya. During the protests, he emerged as a leading voice on the power of information management and social media to focus worldwide public attention and influence political and social movement, being quoted as widely as the Christian Science Monitor and the Times of India.


Also formerly chair of the management information systems department at Laval University in Quebec, Canada, Limayem earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science applied to management from the University of Tunisia. He holds both an MBA and Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Minnesota.


As dean at USF, Limayem will guide a college with more than 5,390 undergraduate students. Its graduate programs host another 855 students seeking masters or doctoral degrees. He will be joined on campus by his wife, Dr. Alya Limayem, who has been appointed a research assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology.

Kevin Burke can be reached at 813-974-0192.