Eisenberg given new position on presidential cabinet, provost search continues

President Rhea Law announced Wednesday that Interim Provost Eric Eisenberg will serve in a new position on her cabinet and she will continue the search for a new provost through next semester. ORACLE PHOTO/ALEXANDRA URBAN

Interim Provost Eric Eisenberg was asked to withdraw from the ongoing provost search, and instead take on a newly created position on the presidential cabinet — senior vice president of university-community partnerships.

President Rhea Law announced in a Wednesday universitywide email her decision, and that she is continuing the provost search through the spring semester, but no further details were provided. Until a new provost is chosen, Eisenberg will continue to serve as the interim. 

“During the search, it became apparent to me that one of our candidates, Interim Provost Eric Eisenberg, has a broad and unique skill set that will be exceptionally important as we seek to distinguish ourselves as a model metropolitan research university,” Law said.  

“Specifically, his deep relationship with our communities — with businesses, nonprofits and governments — and his far-reaching institutional knowledge suggest to me a different calling, specifically to lead the way in pursuing Goal Three in our Strategic Plan, “Partnerships and engagement with local, national and global impact.”

In Eisenberg’s new role, he will “develop a cohesive and intentional strategy around USF’s community engagement,” according to Law.

Eisenberg was one of four finalists to be provost, including Pranesh Aswath, Erin Horvat and Giovanni Piedimonte. Last month, each candidate toured and had town halls at each of USF’s campuses. 

The search for a new provost began in April when Law announced the creation of a search committee. In the same announcement, Law said Eisenberg would begin as interim provost May 31. At that time, Eisenberg said he was not interested in applying to the job permanently.

After a 60-day transition period working alongside former Provost Ralph Wilcox, Eisenberg officially assumed the position of interim provost Aug. 7, immediately after Wilcox stepped down. Wilcox had announced he would be stepping down from his position after 15 years in November. 

The university’s provost also serves as the executive vice president for academic affairs. They serve on the president’s cabinet to represent faculty, while also overseeing student and faculty success. The provost also holds a budgetary responsibility for $626 million, according to the provost search site.

Other duties outlined on the position description page include: “develop strong relationships with external stakeholders,” “empower leadership” and “support a diverse and inclusive community for learning and discovery.” 

Law said she will share more details about the search and Eisenberg’s new role soon.