University of South Florida President Steven Currall is retiring Aug. 2, he announced Monday.
“For the entire USF community, the past two years have been a challenging and intense journey. In the face of challenges, you have shown tremendous resiliency and the power of our community. As a result, we have achieved many significant milestones,” Currall said in a message to faculty, staff, students and alumni. “The intensity of the past two years has put a strain on my health and my family. Therefore, after thoughtful reflection, I have decided to retire from the USF presidency to ensure that I preserve my health, as well as to spend more time with my wife, Cheyenne, and my 91-year-old father.”
Currall took over as USF’s leader in July 2019. During his tenure, Currall successfully consolidated its three campuses — Tampa, St. Pete and Sarasota-Manatee — into a single accredited university. The school also broke into the top 50 among public universities in the U.S. News and World Report rankings for the first time. Currall led the school to $230 million raised and oversaw construction moving forward on several campus facilities. The school also developed a 10-year strategic plan under Currall’s leadership that sets a vision for USF to advance its goal of becoming a top-25 public university and joining the Association of American Universities.
But perhaps most stressful, Currall led the school through a challenging time as it faced the impacts of COVID-19 and protected the USF community from the effects of a pandemic.
Currall said he intends to return to the Muma College of Business as a tenured full professor and continue his research and teaching in the field of organizational psychology.
“I would like to thank President Currall for his steadfast leadership and dedication through what has been one of the most challenging periods in our history. I have been impressed by his tireless work ethic and passion for the transformative role of higher education,” USF Board of Trustees Chair Will Weatherford said in a message to the university community. “On behalf of USF and the Tampa Bay community, I extend my sincere gratitude to President Currall and Dr. Cheyenne Currall for sharing the past two years with us. We wish them well and are delighted they will remain members of the USF family.”
Weatherford said USF Provost and Executive Vice President Ralph Wilcox will serve as acting president upon Currall’s departure as the Board of Trustees meets to vote on an interim president. Weatherford expects to announce details on the search process for a permanent replacement soon.
“USF’s mission remains clear. It is our students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters who helped USF become America’s fastest-rising university, and in the process, have changed countless lives and propelled the economic growth of our region. And it is this community that will help lead USF toward even greater heights,” Weatherford said.