Former BOT chair Rhea Law recommended as interim president

The Board of Trustees will vote on Will Weatherford’s recommendation during a special meeting Aug. 2 and wait for approval by the Board of Governors on Aug. 31. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE/USF

A week after President Steven Currall announced his retirement two years into his tenure, Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman Will Weatherford recommended Rhea Law to fill the position of USF’s interim president. 

In a universitywide email Monday morning, Weatherford said Law’s prior leadership roles will help the university grow and continue its “momentum” until the next president is chosen.

“After careful consideration, I have decided to recommend Rhea Law, a devoted USF supporter, alumna, former Board of Trustees chair and highly respected community leader as interim president,” Weatherford said. “Rhea’s deep ties within our community and her stellar leadership abilities will help us continue our momentum while we find the next great leader for our university.”

The BOT will vote to approve Law into the role during a special meeting Aug. 2 and seek confirmation by the Board of Governors on Aug. 31.

Law would then begin a listening tour with faculty, staff and faculty across all campuses, similar to when Currall stepped into his role in 2019. 

A USF alum, Law earned her bachelor’s degree in management in 1977. As an undergraduate student, she worked as the university research project administrator for USF’s Office of Sponsored Research.

After earning her terminal degree in law at Stetson University College of Law, she helped select the dean of the college as well as the president of the university while serving as the chair of the Board of Overseers. 

At USF, she became one of USF’s BOT founding members as well as its vice chair for five years. During her time as a trustee, Law was also the first and only female chair. She has also played a role in choosing the last two presidents as part of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

Despite Law’s prior roles at USF, Weatherford said she will not apply for the permanent role of president but will play a role to “ensure a smooth transition.” Additional information on the next steps of the search process will be announced in the coming weeks, according to Weatherford.