Provost finalists town halls begin

The four finalists will begin visiting each campus for their respective town halls Wednesday. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

The provost search, which began in April, has progressed as the four finalists will be visiting USF and participating in town halls starting Wednesday.

The finalists — Pranesh Aswath, Erin Horvat, Eric Eisenberg and Giovanni Piedimonte — will rotate between each campus over the next two weeks and answer questions from faculty and students. 

At the Tampa campus, all town halls will be held in the Patel Center for Global Sustainability room 136. At St. Pete they will be in the University Center Ballroom, and at Sarasota-Manatee they will be in the Shelby Auditorium.

Pranesh Aswath

The first to visit the Tampa campus is Aswath who currently serves as senior vice provost for academic planning and policy at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). 

Aswath received both his master’s degree and Ph.D. at Brown University on materials science and engineering. From there, Aswath went on to be in positions such as associate dean for graduate affairs at the Office of the Dean of Engineering as well as interim provost and vice president for academic operations.

Now working as senior vice provost, Aswath oversees “the academic operation” at UTA, according to the university’s website. UTA, which is also an R1 institution, has a global enrollment of “over 60,000 students, over 180 academic programs and over 1,200 full-time faculty,” according to Aswath’s LinkedIn.

Aswath will be at the Tampa campus Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., at St. Pete on Thursday at 9 a.m. and at Sarasota-Manatee on Thursday at 9 a.m. 

Erin Horvat

Currently working as senior vice provost of faculty advancement and undergraduate affairs at Drexel University, Horvat received her Ph.D. in educational leadership development and learning technologies at UCLA. 

“[Horvat] coordinates efforts across the areas of faculty advancement and undergraduate affairs to advance Drexel’s mission of preparing each new generation of students for productive professional and civic lives,” according to Drexel’s website

She also ran the development of the university’s Teaching and Learning Center, which works to help professor and student learning.

Horvat’s town hall on the Tampa campus will be Oct. 17 at 2:30 p.m., St. Pete on Oct. 18 at 1 p.m. and at Sarasota-Manatee on Oct. 18 at 9 a.m. 

Eric Eisenberg

Eisenberg is USF’s current interim provost and executive vice president. 

In his position, he works toward completing USF’s mission and ensuring student success, according to USF’s Meet the Provost page. 

Before becoming interim provost, Eisenberg was dean of the USF College of Arts and Sciences since 2007, according to his curriculum vitae

Not only has he received the National Communication Association award twice for his research in communication, but he received the USF Presidential Faculty Excellence Award in 2003, according to his curriculum vitae.

He will be on the Tampa campus Thursday at 2:30 p.m., St. Pete on Wednesday at 1 p.m. and Sarasota-Manatee on Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Giovanni Piedimonte

At Tulane University, Piedimonte is the vice president of research and institutional official.

Since 2019 he has overseen the university’s research mission throughout all fields, according to Tulane’s About the Vice President page.

Piedimonte was also a professor in the departments of pediatrics, biochemistry and molecular biology, and he has done numerous research projects for the National Institutes of Health, according to Tulane University.

He received a medical degree from the University of Rome School of Medicine, and he has written over 200 biomedical research conference papers and presentations and over 100 publications, according to his curriculum vitae

His town hall meeting at the Tampa campus will be Oct. 18 at 2:30 p.m., at St. Pete on Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. and at Sarasota-Manatee on Oct. 17 at 9 a.m.