USF names interim dean for College of Arts & Sciences

TAMPA, Fla. (Jun. 9, 2008) – The University of South Florida has appointed Eric Eisenberg, PhD, as Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, while the university begins a national search for a new dean for that college. The interim appointment comes after Dean John Skvoretz, PhD, announced his resignation effective August 7, 2008.

Dr. Eisenberg graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University and earned his PhD and MA degrees in Communication, along with an MA in Educational Measurement and Psychometrics, from Michigan State University. He is Professor and former Chair of the Department of Communication at USF (from 1996-2006), and is a nationally-recognized expert in organizational communication. He is a prodigious author and is a nationally sought after speaker and consultant. Before coming to USF, he held faculty appointments at the University of Southern California and Temple University.

“ I would like to take this opportunity to thank John Skvoretz for his broad contributions in steering the College through a critically important period, over the past four years, as USF has strengthened its position as a national research university,” said USF Provost and Senior Vice President Ralph Wilcox, PhD.

“We all recognize that a very strong College of Arts and Sciences is essential to USF’s future. Since Fall 2004, Dean Skvoretz has guided the College through a period of growth in student and faculty headcount, degree productivity, and increases in external research funding. He has also brought a new appreciation to the importance of data analysis in informing decisions in the College.

Dr. Wilcox noted that the transition occurs at a demanding time for Florida’s public universities, which have already absorbed significant cuts in public funding. “The coming months will call for difficult decision-making as we continue to focus on our strategic path to the future. These reductions in state revenue require transformational, energized and innovative leadership with an increased focus on faculty recruitment and retention, enhanced scholarly productivity, improvements in undergraduate and graduate student success, interdisciplinary collaboration, global and community engagement, and fundraising.”

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, specialist 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.

– USF –