USF names director of new Humanities Institute

Professor William Scheuerle’s already long list of distinguished positions in the academic world will get even longer this month when he becomes director of the newly formed Humanities Institute.

“I was asked whether or not I wanted to do this,” Scheuerle said. “I think that the humanities are very important — I spent my entire academic (career) in the humanities, I just wanted to try it, and I was very pleased when I was asked (to take the position).”

The institute will be formed to promote the study of humanities at USF by providing an environment in which professors, teachers and the community can learn through scholars and classic literature. Not only does Scheuerle want to start a lecture series in Tampa, he said he wants to get speakers to stay in the area for more than a few days — he would like to see them spend a semester at a time here at USF.

“What we are emphasizing this first year is to bring in major speakers,” Scheuerle said. “We are going to start in the second semester a great book series. We are going to start with Plato’s Republic, the second one will be Machiavelli’s Discourses — this will be working into a full blown book series in 2004-05.”

Scheuerle, who has served in such positions as undergraduate studies dean and associate vice president of academic affairs in his tenure at USF, is already at work in his position. In the next few weeks, Scheuerle will send out a request to all faculty members involved in humanities in attempts to form a faculty advisory board for the institute.

“I am going to send e-mails to all of the faculty that fits in with the national definition of humanities, and they can nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else,” Scheuerle said.

All immediate plans aside, Scheuerle said he would like the Humanities Institute to be “world famous.” As for his role in achieving that goal, Scheuerle said he wants to be an anchor for the future of humanities at USF.

“One lives day for day,” Scheuerle said. “I hope to lay a very good and strong foundation this year.”

Scheuerle retired from teaching in May, but he plans on being involved with independent studies as well as serving on a doctoral board in the English department, but has no immediate plans to go back to classroom teaching.