USF dean steps down, searches for new role

Dale Johnson, dean of graduate studies, is leaving his position July 1 to explore other positions at USF. Johnson, who has been the dean for six years, will depart for the first time in 32 years on a professional leave.

“There are a lot of exciting things on this campus, and I am going to take a few weeks to explore these opportunities and decide what I am going to do for the next five years of my career,” Johnson said. “My faculty home is in physics, so I will be involved with some teaching and I will want to tackle the research administrative end of it also.”

Johnson began his career at the University of Washington. For the first 21 years, he was a faculty member in bioengineering, and then he took various administrative positions during his time there. He later pursued his career at USF.

“Since I have been here, there have been many interesting accomplishments that have happened with everyone working together here in the graduate studies,” Johnson said. “We are really all a part of a team here. One thing that we have made progress in is with teaching/research assistants’ salaries.”

Johnson said statistics show that there has been an increase of 1,000 full-time equivalence students since he has been dean. Johnson has also helped largely to create the mission statement for the office of graduate studies, said Theresa Singletary, administrative assistant of graduate studies.

Since Johnson has been working at USF, resources devoted to Graduate Assistant Waivers have more than doubled. Johnson said he has helped to increase the graduate minority headcount to 56 percent.

“(Dale) also spearheaded the movement to make some of our Ph.D. programs more competitive. Stipends for programs, like applied physics, biology and psychology, increased from $8,000 to $16,000 in the last two years,” said Carol Hines-Cobb, coordinator of academic services in the office of graduate studies. “(Dale) worked tirelessly to garner more funding for GA waivers. He also led the ‘fight’ to have the colleges require that grants pick up the tuition funding for research assistants. GA funding from grants increased 91 percent in the last four years.”

Johnson added that he has also helped to add presidential fellowships on campus. Johnson’s position at USF allowed him to increase the number of presidential fellowships to 26, which is an important factor in recruiting some of the best graduate students.

“The goal is that USF wants to build graduate programs to a national distinction. In order to do that, we increased many things, including organizations, aids and presidential fellowships,” Johnson said.

This will be the fourth year that there will be recipients of the USF presidential fellowships.

“A lot of help came from President (Judy) Genshaft. She has been our key supporter,” Johnson said.

Brenda Hunter and Pamela Osnes, colleagues of Johnson, said they appreciated his assistance in the graduate studies program.

“We appreciate your assistance and guidance during the development and beginning years of the ABA Master’s program,” Osnes said.

Johnson said he will not forget the opportunity USF gave him to shape his program.

“I had the chance to become a graduate dean of an institution that was growing, changing and developing. It was a great opportunity to work here at USF,” Johnson said.