Skvoretz named CAS head

Provost Renu Khator named John Skvoretz, interim dean of liberal arts at the University of South Carolina, dean of USF’s College of Arts and Sciences on Wednesday.

Skvoretz spent 29 years at USC as professor, sociology department chairman and associate dean of liberal arts before being named interim dean last year. The position was officially vacated in February when former dean Khator, who first left the position in July 2003 to become interim provost, was named provost and the search for her replacement began.

“I’m honored and excited to be asked to join the USF team as dean of arts and sciences. A major attraction for me is the fact that there is truly a team effort dedicated to making USF better,” Skvoretz said. “Many universities have aspirations of getting better; fewer have concrete plans to do so; fewer still have the commitment of faculty, staff, chairs and deans and even fewer have the charismatic senior leadership necessary to pull it off. USF, I sense, has it all: aspirations, concrete plans, commitment and charismatic senior leadership. I’m glad I will be part of the effort.”

Interim Dean Kathleen Heide, who was among the five finalists for the position, will remain in office until Feb. 1, when Skvoretz takes over. The college has 28 departments in four cognate areas: life and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, humanities and professional programs. The college’s 500-plus faculty serve approximately 17,000 students enrolled in 65 undergraduate programs and concentrations, 36 masters and 14 doctoral degree programs.

Skvoretz received a bachelor of mathematics and a bachelor of sociology from Lehigh University. He was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a doctorate in sociology in 1976.

“Dr. Skvoretz’s dynamism, enthusiasm and creative vision won the admiration of faculty and staff,” Khator said. “I am confident he will take the college to the next level of excellence.”