October 25, 2018 – Greenwood / Asher & Associates has been retained by the University of South Florida (USF) to spearhead the search for its seventh president. Judy Genshaft is stepping down after 19 years leading the school.
Les Muma, chair of the search committee, said in a conference call last week that four search firms were presented and he was able to narrow that down to three rather quickly. Mr. Muma said he and fellow search committee member Rhea Law interviewed each of the three search firm finalists for about an hour and a half. He said that he and Ms. Law both independently chose Greenwood / Asher as the standout search firm from the interviews. They then passed their suggestion on to board of trustee’s chair Brian Lamb and board of trustees’ member John Ramil, who agreed that the firm was the appropriate choice.
Mr. Muma said he and Ms. Law were looking for nine specific characteristics in a search firm to find the next system president. These included the willingness to go beyond the search process and help train Dr. Genshaft’s successor once the individual officially steps into their role.
“The University of South Florida has tremendous momentum, having recently set several institutional records, and it’s critical for us to find a new president with the leadership abilities to continue our trajectory,” Mr. Lamb said. “Our search committee members strongly represent the communities we serve, they come from diverse backgrounds, and each will bring a unique perspective to this process.”
Replacing Dr. Genshaft is an enormous responsibility, said Mr. Muma. “This is a pivotal time in the University of South Florida’s history, and our decision will have a significant impact on the future of the Tampa Bay region,” he said. “We are committed to following a search process that is transparent and inclusive.”
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The search committee intends to recommend a set of candidates to the board of trustees in early 2019, with an interview process on campus shortly afterwards. Once the interviews conclude, the search committee will present final candidates to the board, and trustees are expected to decide on a new president next spring.
Founded in 1956, USF is the fourth-largest public university in Florida, with an enrollment of more than 48,000. It is home to 14 colleges, offering more than 80 undergraduate majors and more than 130 graduate, specialist, and doctoral-level degree programs. The university has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of over $3.7 billion.
In September, USF used the services of Eastman & Beaudine to recruit Michael Kelly as its new athletic director. “Michael Kelly is a proven leader with a wealth of experience across the national collegiate athletic landscape, as well as within Tampa Bay,” said Dr. Genshaft. “He has a track record of promoting competitive excellence, building strong community relationships, developing marketing campaigns, reaching fundraising goals and supporting academic achievement.”
Recruiting University Leadership
Greenwood / Asher & Associates is a women-owned executive search firm with a diverse consulting team and extensive experience in executive search, consulting and training for education markets including elementary, secondary, higher education, university systems, campuses, and non-profit organizations including associations, service and cultural institutions. Greenwood / Asher recently led president searches for University of Florida and Ohio State, among others. The firm is led by president Jan Greenwood and partner Betty Turner Asher.
Dr. Greenwood is a pioneer in U.S. higher education, having been the first woman president of a public four-year and graduate institution in Virginia. She is a licensed psychologist with experience as a psychometrist and with post-doctoral training in group methods. She brings these skill sets to her work with clients, candidates and search committees.
Ms. Asher brings to executive search, consulting and training a unique background of leadership service at all levels of higher education institutions and systems, in academics and student affairs and in public and private institutions.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media