Stone Named USFSM Chancellor



While the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee has made strides in getting independent accreditation and is moving forward with more plans to boost a stand-alone campus feel, the newly named regional chancellor of the institution said her priority at the start of her new job will be on maintaining a strong place for the campus within the larger University of South Florida system.

Dr. Sandra Stone, now the vice president of academic affairs at Dalton State College in Georgia, was named on Friday as the new regional chancellor at USFSM. The day of her hire, she spoke with media about the future of the school and her own professional desires.

"I have to get there and figure out what is there and where the institution needs to go in the future, how it is situated within the larger USF system," she said. As I understand there are goals for each of the campuses within the University of South Florida system. My goal is to expand enrollment and we will continue to look at these issues."

USF President Judy Genshaft said Stone will play a major role in the campus' strategic growth. “Sandra Stone’s experience, enthusiasm and collaborative spirit will help guide USFSM toward further excellence,” Genshaft said. “Her contributions will surely have an impact on the entire USF System and the region that we serve." Genshaft also made sure to offer thanks to USFSM Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic AffairsTerry Osborn, who has served as interim chancellor for several months. Arthur Guilford, who was hired as regional chancellor in 2007, retired this year.

In Stone's current post in Northern Georgia, Stone oversees a myriad of academic and outreach programs. She has previously worked for sponsored research groups, state and federal government bodies and other academic institutions.

Stone holds a doctorate in Sociology from Emory University and both bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of West Georgia, and she also completed a post-doctorate certificate in organizational behavior at Tulane University. As far as programs at USFSM go, she plans to carefully evaluate both what expectations enrolled students have going forward as well as the needs of the local business community. "One of the things I want to look at pretty soon is the strategic planning process, and I want to engage the campus community and larger community as well to see what meets the needs of the community, what meets the needs of the institution and figure a direction to move forward. I have no specifics, I haven't gotten to that yet," she said. "That definitely should include an academic master plan."

USFSM has freshman on campus for the first time this year, and recently earned its individual accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation. "It is definitely different with freshmen and sophomores than it is with only upper division. There is a different energy to the environment. I will meet with various people to help with feasibility studies. We need to determine the cost and really figure how that works. But I definitely want to keep growing the campus and establish a more traditional campus flavor."

A search committee, led by University of South Florida St. Petersburg chancellor Sophia Wisniewska spent several months considering different people for the post.

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