Kent to serve on search committee to find next president

Shaquille Kent (left) currently serves as USF's student body vice president. On Friday, he was chosen as a student representative on a search committee tasked with finding System President Judy Genshaft's replacement. ORACLE PHOTO/CHAVELI GUZMAN

The search committee tasked with vetting and selecting USF’s next system president was announced in a Board of Trustees (BOT) conference call Friday afternoon.

Brian Lamb, BOT chairman, announced 15 people to the committee, which included members from each of USF’s three campuses — Tampa, St. Pete and Sarasota-Manatee.

Shaquille Kent, student body vice president, was selected to represent students on the committee.

“Marketing, business student,” Lamb said of Kent. “He serves a very important role of serving our students. We have over 50,000 students here at our institution and they will have a voice in helping us elect our next president.”

Lamb also announced in the call that Les Muma, who, along with his wife, Pam, are USF’s all-time leading donors, will chair the search committee. Muma is a 1966 graduate of USF and is a current member of USF’s BOT.

In addition to Muma and Kent, the other 13 members appointed to the search committee includes Kathy Weedman Arthur, a tenured USF St. Pete faculty member, Braulio Colón, Anddrikk Frazier, a member of the USF System Consolidation Task Force, and Robert D. Frisina.

Other members appointed were Stephanie Goforth, a current BOT member, Darlene Jordan, Rhea Law, George Morgan, Frederick “Rick” Piccolo, John Ramil, the BOT’s longest-tenured member, Debbie Sembler, Byron Shinn and Charles Stanish.

“Replacing President Genshaft is an enormous responsibility,” Muma said. “This is a pivotal time in the University of South Florida’s history, and our decision will have a significant impact on the future of the Tampa Bay region. We are committed to following a search process that is transparent and inclusive.”

Lamb confirmed a separate, external search firm, which will develop the profile for the position, will be selected and announced by the end of next week. 

Lamb said the committee intends to recommend a set of candidates to the BOT in early 2019, then present finals candidates in the spring of 2019.  

Though an outside search firm and search committee will be used to aid in finding USF’s next president, Lamb emphasized the full authority still lies with the BOT in choosing which candidate will take over for now-president Judy Genshaft next July.