Florida considers Lehmkuhle for provost

Sunday, November 2, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:22 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 3, 2008

Steve Lehmkuhle, UM system’s vice president of academic affairs, is one of eight people the University of South Florida in Tampa is considering for its new provost.

Lehmkuhle was selected from a pool of almost 70 applicants who responded to an advertisement in the Chronicle for Higher Education, said Stuart Silverman, chairman of the Provost Search Committee at USF. The committee reviewed the applications and narrowed its search to eight candidates, he said.

USF will conduct phone interviews with the remaining candidates in two weeks, Silverman said. The applicants who make the next cut will be invited to visit the Tampa campus, he said.

As at most universities, the provost at USF is the top academic figure who acts as second-in-command to the system president. In an e-mail on Friday, Lehmkuhle said he received a notice about the phone interview on Wednesday but declined to comment further. “It is simply premature for me to comment in any substantive way until the next stage of the search process is complete,” Lehmkuhle said.

USF is a four-campus university with its flagship school in Tampa. Founded in 1956, it enrolls more than 40,000 students, compared to the UM system’s 62,000. USF’s 2002 research budget was more than $230 million. Last year, MU spent $166 million on research. Silverman said USF will try to invite candidates to its campus either before mid-December or in January. The new provost will start work as soon as he or she finishes with present commitments. The USF president will select the provost based on a recommendation from the search committee, Silverman said.

“Most of the people that apply like us because we are a university in a state that continues to grow,” Silverman said.

Silverman said the committee was impressed by Lehmkuhle’s scholarly and administrative backgrounds. “We’re looking for someone who could lead us over the next several years,” he said.

USF started the search after its former provost retired for health reasons. Renu Khator serves as interim provost and is among the eight candidates.

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