During the past 21 years, Provost S. David Stamps has been a utility player in academics, serving as a professor and dean of USF’s largest department.
But Tuesday, faculty members and administratiors gathered at the Lifsey House to say goodbye to the administrator until he returns in a year as a professor.
In May, Stamps announced he would resign as provost because of health concerns. He plans to take a 12-month professional development leave with compensation before returning as a faculty member in the sociology department. Stamps’ annual pay is $213,000. The leave will help prepare him to instruct students again, as he originally started out as a social sciences professor at USF in 1982.
“He is a wonderful man, an extremely decent man, who has been very good with the faculty and the university,” said Mohsen Milani, chairman of the government and international affairs department.
Before Stamps took the second highest position in the USF administration, he served as the dean in the College of Arts and Sciences.
“Provost Stamps has been someone who has made solid contributions to the university,” Milani said.
Anthropology professor Susan Greenbaum said she worked with Stamps when he was a social sciences professor in the sociology department.
In 1989, Greenbaum and Stamps, along with his wife Miriam Stamps, also a professor at USF, collaborated for a study concerning concerns and race issues in Tampa, which was published in 1991.
And when Stamps was the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Greenbaum was chair of the anthropology department.
“(Stamps) was an excellent dean,” Greenbaum said. “The qualities about David that are most consistent is how deliberate, honest and fair he is.”
Greenbaum added that she looks forward to continue working with Stamps, as he will join the Globalization Research Center down the hall from her office a year from now.
On July 1, Renu Khator, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, will serve as interim provost until a new provost is selected.
When Khator was a chairwoman in the College of Arts and Sciences, she said she had the opportunity to work with Stamps while he was dean.
“He always has absolutely the right advice,” Khator said. “Anytime I had any kind of issue managing a college of such a large size, he was always there to help.”
In addition, Khator said Stamps’ leadership would help her transition as interim provost.
“I have a 200 percent trust in (Stamps’) judgments and decisions,” Khator said. “I’m just hoping to walk in there and follow his path.”
In regards to Khator’s appointment as interim provost, Stamps gave his approval without hesitation.
“I had appointed (Khator) as interim dean of Arts and Sciences, and after the search, I appointed her as dean of the college,” Stamps said. “She’ll do a very good job (as interim provost). I certainly support her.”