New Regional Chancellor in St. Pete

USF System President Genshaft appoints Penn State Brandywine Chancellor Sophia T. Wisniewska as USFSP Regional Chancellor.

From USF News

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (Mar. 19, 2013) – University of South Florida System President Judy Genshaft today named Sophia T. Wisniewska as regional chancellor of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Wisniewska, chancellor of Penn State Brandywine since 2005, is a scholar of Russian language and literature with extensive experience in key leadership positions in the Penn State System.  Additionally, Wisniewska served six years as dean and chief executive officer at Temple University Ambler.


Genshaft appointed Wisniewska from three candidates recommended by a Search Advisory Committee whose members included faculty, staff and community members.


“Sophia Wisniewska has the experience and vision to continue the enormous progress of USF St. Petersburg,” Genshaft said. “Her commitment to scholarship, teaching and community engagement will enrich both USFSP and the broader community.  She will inspire all who meet her.”


Wisniewska thanked President Genshaft for the confidence she has shown in her. “It is a rare privilege to have the opportunity to lead an institution with such strong programs and engaged faculty and to join a community where faculty and students collaborate on research and service projects,” she said. “USFSP is uniquely positioned to play a vital role in the intellectual, economic and cultural development of the region. I look forward to getting to know the students, the faculty, the staff and other members of the community, and to join with them to advance USFSP’s mission.”


Frank Biafora, dean of the USFSP College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the Regional Chancellor Search Advisory Committee, praised the members of the panel for their hard work and collegiality. “I thank President Genshaft for her commitment to a rigorous and thorough public search,’’ he said. “Speaking on behalf of the entire committee, we are thrilled at the president’s decision and look forward to working with Dr. Wisniewska as the next exciting chapter unfolds for USF St. Petersburg.”


Wisniewska earned a Ph.D and a Masters in Russian from Bryn Mawr College and a bachelor’s in Russian with a minor in history from Penn State. While at Penn State and Temple University she created innovative academic programs and forged strong relationships with community leaders that strengthened both institutions. She assumes her new duties July 1.