USF News Briefs

New Director Appointed to School of Theatre and Dance

The College of Visual and Performing Arts recently appointed Marc Powers as the new director for the School of Theatre and Dance.

Powers, who was the chair of the theatre department at the University of Alabama Birmingham since 2000, began his new role at USF on July 11. Powers, who also worked at Winthrop University in South Carolina, said his main goals as director are to ensure the theatre and dance programs collaborate better, to improve graduate programs and to enhance the school’s reputation.

His task will not be an easy one. In late May, Gov. Jeb Bush vetoed a proposal for a $1-million visual/performing arts teaching facility, although the decision is more likely to hinder the School of Music, which was hoping to be housed in the new facility.

Powers said the strength of the school lay in its people.

“I feel there are strong and focused faculty and students here at USF, and there happens to be a lot to work with,” Powers said.

While chair of the theatre department at UAB, student graduation rates increased by 300 percent, according to a news release from the College of Visual Arts. A former actor and theater director, Powers is also credited with increasing student involvement with theater groups such as the Southeastern Theatre Conference and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

Correspondent Stacy Weiss contributed to this report.

Group challenges new higher-ed. bill

A group of educators have filled a lawsuit claiming that a recent law passed by Gov. Jeb Bush and the Legislature giving the state Board of Education control over some aspects of higher education is unconstitutional.

The suit, filed in Leon County, states the new bill violates the 2002 constitutional amendment passed by voters to create the Board of Governors to run higher education. According to a report in the Tallahassee Democrat, the suit claims that faculty and administrators are unsure which body determines budget and policy decisions.

The suit was filed by Floridians for Constitutional Integrity, a coalition that includes former state university system chancellor E.T. York. A similar suit filed by the group in December was dismissed in May.

USF professor receives grant

James McHale, a psychology professor at USF St. Petersburg, has been awarded a $405,000 research grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Development, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

McHale will be only the sixth recipient of the grant, known as the Independent Scientist Award, in the last three decades. McHale has conducted research in child development.

Blood donors required

The Florida Blood Services student bloodmobile will be parked next to the Library and Cooper Hall the following days in the month of July from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

Tuesday, July 19
Wednesday, July 20
Tuesday, July 26
Wednesday, July 27

Blood donors will receive a T-shirt and a slice of pizza. Generally, healthy people age 17 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can be blood donors. Identification is required prior to donation. For further information, please call 1-800-68-BLOOD.