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Klasko named medical dean

Stephen Klasko has had a month of great change, to say the least.

Klasko was named dean of USF’s College of Medicine in July; less than a month later, he is now in Philadelphia for his wedding.

In September, Klasko takes over a dean spot made vacant when Robert Daugherty was forced to resign by university President Judy Genshaft.

Daugherty stepped down last November after Genshaft found out he had told members of his staff to make donations to Johnnie Byrd’s U.S. Senate campaign. Robert Belsole, a professor of orthopedics at USF, served as interim dean until a replacement could be found, said Ian Phillips, vice president of research for the university and head of the search committee.

The committee, formed in January, was made up of graduate students, medical students and representatives from local hospitals, among others, which Phillips called “a very good mix of people.”

Michael Hoad, associate vice president of Health Science Advancement, worked as a liaison to the search committee.

“(The search committee) hired a search firm, which brought about 10 candidates. The committee cut that down to about six,” he said.

After it was narrowed down, the decision was left to Genshaft to choose the best person for the job.

“I am impressed by his passion for students, research and community partnerships,” Genshaft said in a press release. “It was very clear that he is a strategic thinker who has tremendous energy and enthusiasm. He is a great fit for where USF is today and plans to be in the future.”

Phillips said the entire search took about six months.

Klasko is leaving Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he gained experience serving as dean of the College of Medicine, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and dean of graduate medical education.

“Drexel University is the largest private medical school in the country, in terms of students,” Hoad said.

Hoad added that though it is a private university, it shares USF’s close relationships with community hospitals.

“Some of the challenges will be similar. Working with hospitals, serving the students and balancing the budget,” he said.

The construction of a new College of Nursing building as well as an outpatient facility are a few of the things Klasko will have on his plate when he arrives. A larger amount of female students than male in the College of Medicine is another change, one the university is proud of.

“The demographic has definitely changed,” Phillips said.

Klasko will also serve as vice president of the Health Sciences, the name given to the combination of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health. To be vice president of Health Sciences and Dean of the College of Medicine go hand-in-hand, Phillips said.

“The three can’t work without affecting one of the other,” he said. “It’s logical.”

People within the college are excited about working with Klasko, who is enthusiastic about the new job. Klasko was unable to be reached Tuesday night for because of his wedding.

“I am excited about the potential that exists at an already great Health Sciences Center,” Klasko said in a press release. “I am encouraged by the vision of President Genshaft and the trajectory USF is on, and I look forward to accomplishing the vision set forth by the president and the Board of Trustees.”