Dr. Ralph Wilcox Appointed Provost at USF

TAMPA, FL (Wednesday, November 7, 2007) – President Judy Genshaft has announced the appointment of Dr. Ralph Wilcox as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of South Florida, effective January, 2008. Dr. Wilcox will fill the vacancy created by the upcoming departure of Dr. Renu Khator, who will become Chancellor of the University of Houston System and President of the University of Houston.

Dr. Wilcox has served as Professor and Vice Provost at USF since 2003, with primary responsibilities in policy analysis, planning and performance. He has served as USF’s principal liaison to the Florida Board of Governors and provided oversight for institution-wide strategic planning, enrollment planning, and legislative budget matters.

In making the appointment, President Genshaft consulted widely with key constituents throughout the University, including faculty, staff, deans, students, members of the Board of Trustees, and Chancellor Mark Rosenberg of the Florida Board of Governors. Dr. Wilcox received enthusiastic endorsements of support.

“We’re fortunate to have someone of Dr. Wilcox’s caliber at USF who can step into the provost position,” said President Genshaft. “He is an exceptionally talented academic leader, researcher and educator. The office will be in very capable hands.”

Dr. Wilcox holds a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Canada, a M.Sc. degree from Washington State University, and a baccalaureate degree from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. In 2001, he was selected as a Fellow of the American Council on Education, and is a recipient of the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Research Fellowship. In 2003, he was invited to participate in the Oxford Round Table on Higher Education. Dr. Wilcox’s scholarly expertise is in cultural studies and globalization. He has presented his work extensively and has published two books, together with numerous articles in leading national and international journals. He has received upward of $10 million in research contracts and grants.

“I thank President Genshaft—and others—for the confidence they have shown in my ability to provide the highest level of academic leadership at USF,” said Dr. Wilcox. “While faced with significant budget challenges, we have a bold vision and an excellent faculty with whom I look forward to working as, together, we set priorities and continue USF’s emergence as one of this nation’s top public research universities.”

Dr. Wilcox has a long history of community and global engagement, and has been a strong proponent of interdisciplinary collaboration. He formerly served as Interim Vice President and Campus Executive Officer of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, and has held tenured faculty and administrative appointments at the University of Houston, the University of Memphis, and Hofstra University.

“Dr. Wilcox is very deserving of the position,” said Garin Flowers, President of the USF Student Government. “He’s one of the administrators that students love because he has reached out to us from the beginning. He’s a very intelligent individual, and I have full faith in his ability to do the job of Provost.”

Dr. Michael Barber, President of the Faculty Senate said, “The Faculty Senate applauds the decision by President Genshaft to appoint Dr. Wilcox as provost. Dr. Wilcox has an excellent educational and administrative background and has made major contributions to the development of the institution, particularly in the area of strategic planning. The Senate leadership welcomes the opportunity to continue to work with Dr. Wilcox on academic issues that will enhance the educational and intellectual experience for faculty and students at USF.”

Dr. Barber has been appointed chair of a search committee which will be formed in the spring of 2008 and will conduct a national search for a provost who will take the position following the 2009-10 academic year.


The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  It is one of Florida's top three research universities.  USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The University offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialty and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine.  The University has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland.  USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.


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