USF President Judy Genshaft made her decision Friday of whom would be interim vice president of Health Sciences and dean of the College of Medicine after Robert Daugherty stepped down Friday.
Genshaft named longtime surgeon Robert Belsole to the position. The facilities Belsole will serve are comprised of 2,900 employees and nearly 1,800 students.
Belsole will be Daugherty’s replacement until a nationwide search is conducted and a new person is hired.
“We are fortunate that someone of Dr. Belsole’s stature has agreed to serve in this interim capacity,” said Genshaft during a news conference Friday. “He understands the medical profession, and he knows how the practice of medicine relates to teaching and research.”
Belsole joined USF in 1977 and directs USF’s division of orthopedic surgery and works with USF/Tampa General Hospital and Shriners Hospital’s Hand and Microsurgery Fellowship program.
In addition, Belsole has served as associate dean of clinical affairs at USF’s College of Medicine and chief operating officer for the USF Physicians Group, the largest doctors group in West Central Florida, with more than 390 physicians.
Belsole said he would continue Daugherty’s commitment to Health Sciences, the faculty and students.
“From the work of the faculty and staff, the Health Sciences Center has a clear roadmap to guide our interdisciplinary collaborations for research, teaching and patient care,” Belsole said.
Genshaft named Ian Phillips, vice president of research, to chair the search for a new dean, which she said would take about a year.
The decision to start the search came after Genshaft made Daugherty return campaign contribution checks collected from medical staff members that were to be donated to state Rep. Johnny Byrd, R-Plant City, who is running for U.S. Senate.
Daugherty asked that 25 of his top-ranking employees contribute money so they could give Byrd at least $2,000 for his campaign. Only a dozen gave Daugherty checks.
Both Genshaft and Belsole said Daugherty would be missed.
“He is not leaving, and we are not saying goodbye to someone who we hope to get advice from in the future,” Belsole said.