Starting Tuesday, the College of Arts and Sciences will be under new leadership. Kathleen Heide replaces Renu Khator as interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Khator is leaving the USF’s largest college to fill in as interim provost for S. David Stamps, who resigned as provost due to health concerns.
Heide will hold the position while USF President Judy Genshaft conducts a search to find the most qualified applicant for the position, a search in which Heide will have the opportunity to be a candidate as well.
Heide came to USF in 1981 as an assistant professor in the criminology department and has played a constant role in the USF community for the past two decades. Specializing in the area of juvenile homicide, Heide has taught various courses on crime.
In 2001, she was encouraged by the chairman of the criminology department, Dwayne Smith, to apply for the position of associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. Heide followed his advice and has held the position for the past two years.
“I took advantage of an excellent opportunity, and I truly enjoyed it,” Heide said.
“I had (a chance) to work with the faculty, with a very dynamic dean, Dr. Khator, and with a terrific team of associate deans,” she said.
Originally knowing Heide as a professional, Smith said Heide actually encouraged him to apply and join USF four years earlier.
“Just knowing her and her presence in the field was one of the things that encourage me to come here as chair,” Smith said.
“(What’s more), when an associate dean’s position became open, the description of it struck me as something that was ideally suited for (Heide), so I strongly encouraged her to apply.”
Since then, Heide and Smith have served on a number of committees for the College of Arts and Sciences.
“One of the things that my group has worked on with Dr. Heide is the budget issue,” Smith said.
Heide was the associate dean to continue faculty development as well as program development.
“For instance, a lot of the new degree programs that people are proposing go through (Heide), and she is pretty much involved in issues involving the faculty,” Smith said.
At the same time, Heide dealt with the 29 programs across the college. The programs fall into four basic categories: sciences, social sciences, humanities and professional schools. This includes the School of Social Work and mass communication studies.
“Along with the chairs, I dealt with building the units … into stronger units,” Heide said.
“I tried to take (the programs) to the next level.”
In regards to faculty development, Heide led the College of Arts and Sciences teaching staff’s enrollment until its retirement.
“I dealt with recruitment, tenure promotion, honors and awards as well as faculty problems like sick leave and faculty grievances,” Heide said.
Because of the recent budget cuts, Heide said she believes it would be a challenge for the college to meet the needs of the students. However, she said it is something she is ready to tackle to the best of her abilities.
This past year, before the opportunity at USF came along, Heide was offered another dean’s position at a university with a well-established school of criminal justice, but she decided against it.
“It wasn’t the right time for me to make that move,” Heide said. “Another reason was that a large part of my heart is very much at USF.”
In addition to her criminal justice background, Heide said her preparation as a psychotherapist has helped her deal with individuals as an administrator.
“My clinical training has helped me very much to listen to people and to understand what they are saying,” Heide said.
“Also, it has helped me in terms of conflict resolution … I try to take someone else’s position and really understand where he or she is coming from.”
In regards to Heide’s experience for her new position, Smith said she has helped guide the college these past two years.
“(Heide) has had a real on-the-job learning experience and has been on a number of decision-making capacities,” Smith said.
“Dr. Khator was very much involved in a team approach to administering a college, so dean Heide was an integral part of that team.”
Furthermore, taking Heide’s position as interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is Robert Brinkmann, the chairman of environmental sciences and policy.
“He has a very good record of scholarship and has been recognized as an excellent teacher,” Heide said.
“He is a hallmark of a professor … he has done all three: the teaching, the research and the service.”