Judy Genshaft

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Judy Genshaft
6th President of the
University of South Florida
In office
July 5, 2000 – June 30, 2019
Preceded byBetty Castor
Succeeded bySteven C. Currall
Personal details
Born (1948-01-07) January 7, 1948 (age 72)
Canton, Ohio
Spouse(s)Steven Greenbaum
EducationMA, PhD
Alma materUniversity of Wisconsin at Madison
Kent State University
ProfessionUniversity president

Judy Lynn Genshaft (/ˈɡɛnˌʃæft/; born January 7, 1948) was President of University of South Florida from 2000 to 2019.[1] She stepped down from the position in July 2019 after a 19-year tenure.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Genshaft was born and raised in Canton, Ohio, in 1948. Her father, a Russian immigrant, fled to the United States because of conscription. Her mother is a Canton native with family roots in Russia.[citation needed]

Judy graduated from University of Wisconsin at Madison with a Bachelor of Arts in social work and psychology in 1969.[3][4] She completed her masters in 1973[5] and doctorate in 1975 at Kent State University in school counseling and counseling psychology, respectively.[6][3] She joined the faculty of Ohio State University in 1976 as an assistant professor in school psychology.[3] She was the chair of the Department of Educational Services and Research at Ohio State from 1987 to 1992, and was the chair of OSU's senate from 1990 to 1991.[3]

In 1992, she became dean of the school of Education at the University at Albany.[3] After a national search and recommended by the search committee, Hitchcock promoted her to Vice President of Academic Affairs.[7] She became the provost at the University at Albany in 1997.[3] Genshaft became the president of USF in July 2000.[8] Genshaft named NFL Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon as USF's director of athletics in May 2001.[9]

She also served as director of American Momentum Bank. She served as chair of the NCAA Board and the American Council on Education Board.[9]

In June 2019, Genshaft and her husband donated $20 million to USF for the construction of a new honors college. She also donated $3 million to endow a deanship for the honors college.[10]

President at University of South Florida[edit]

Al-Arian controversy[edit]

Following the September 11 attacks, USF professor Sami Al-Arian was interviewed by Bill O'Reilly regarding his connections to Ramadan Shalah, leader of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine.[11] In October 2001, Genshaft placed Al-Arian on paid administrative leave and prohibited him from entering USF property because she believed his presence would compromise campus security.[12][13] When students and faculty were on leave for winter recess in December 2001, Genshaft and the USF Board of Trustees fired Al-Arian from teaching at USF. Faculty Senate President Gregory Paveza condemned the firing as underhanded because the professor did not have his side of the story heard.[14] The faculty adviser to the Provost resigned in protest of the firing.[15] The Faculty Senate held an emergency meeting in January 2002 in which they approved a resolution that condemned the firing as an assault to academic freedom.[16][17] United Faculty of Florida, the faculty union representing USF professors, voted to throw its full support behind Al-Arian and condemned the university for exaggerating security concerns until he was arrested by the FBI.[18]

Presidential salary[edit]

She received $879,506 for the 2015-2016 academic year, ranking her as the 11th highest paid university president in the United States.[19] After 2015, her contract was renewed year-to-year rather than spanning five years.[20] In March 2017, USF's Board of Trustees voted to provide her with a total compensation package $924,547, including a base salary of $505,837 with 37% of the total package tied to performance.[21] Under Florida law, state funding for the president's salary is capped at $200,000. USF uses private funding to make up the difference.[22]

Relationship with student body[edit]

In 2016, a campaign organized by Students for a Democratic Society to persuade Genshaft to change the name of a campus building failed. The campaign targeted the removal of Bill Young's name because of Young's homophobic actions in the 1960s on the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee and his continued support for anti-LGBT policies up until his death.[23]

Emerging preeminence[edit]

In 2018, USF met 11 of the 12 metrics for "full preeminence standard". Genshaft set a goal of meeting full preeminence standards and in June 2018 anticipated the Florida BOG would certify the fulfillment.[24]

Adjunct faculty protests[edit]

Adjunct faculty professors launched Faculty Forward, a campaign to unionize adjuncts. In October 2017, a state hearing officer recommended Public Employees Relations Commission approve the adjuncts’ request for an election “as soon as is practicable”, but Genshaft's administration took steps to delay union elections. The protesting adjunct professors were supported by Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Genshaft married Steven Greenbaum in 1989 and has two sons.[4] Genshaft's brother is Neil Genshaft, Chief Executive Officer of Fresh Mark.[26][7][27] Genshaft decided not to live in the on-campus residence, the 9,000-square-foot Lifsey House, and lives in the Tampa Palms neighborhood near campus.[7]


Genshaft received leadership awards from Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand. She received an honorary degree from Yeungnam University.[28][29] In 2012, the USF marching band dedicated its first half time show of the 2012-13 season to her.[30]


  1. ^ "Buzz Worthy Items of Note". Tampa Bay Magazine. 23 (1): 75. January–February 2008. ISSN 1070-3845.
  2. ^ "After 18 years, USF president Judy Genshaft announcing plans to retire as USF president". 9 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hegarty, Stephen (11 March 2000). "Genshaft's Varied Career Helps Make the Grade". St. Petersburg Times.
  4. ^ a b "Dr. Judy L. Genshaft". Albany.edu. 1997-05-01. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  5. ^ "Alumni | Kent State University". Kent.edu. Archived from the original on 2017-03-19. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  6. ^ "Judy Genshaft bio". Bcsfootball.org. 2011-12-09. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  7. ^ a b c "Judy Genshaft at USF: 5 more years to finish the job?". TBO.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  8. ^ "Timeline: The Judy Genshaft era at USF". Tampa Bay Times. 2018-09-10. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  9. ^ a b "USF transformed during Judy Genshaft's 10 years as president". Tampabay.com. 2010-07-04. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  10. ^ "Judy Genshaft announces additional $3 million gift to USF". Tampa Bay Times. 2019-06-02. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  11. ^ "Transcript: O'Reilly Interviews Al-Arian in September 2001". Fox News. February 20, 2003. Retrieved March 14, 2017.
  12. ^ "Threats continue after professor leaves". St. Petersburg Times. October 14, 2001.
  13. ^ Klein, Barry (December 19, 2001). "USF trustees to hear report on Al-Arian". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  14. ^ Persaud, Babita (January 1, 2002). "Faculty to discuss Al-Arian firing". St. Petersburg Times.
  15. ^ Persaud, Babita (January 4, 2002). "Adviser protests Al-Arian decision". St. Petersburg Times.
  16. ^ Leiby, Richard (July 28, 2002). "Talking Out of School; Was an Islamic Professor Exercising His Freedom or Promoting Terror?". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on December 30, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  17. ^ Klein, Barry; Babita Persaud (January 10, 2002). "Faculty leaders refuse to back Al-Arian firing". St. Petersburg Times.
  18. ^ Persaud, Babita (January 11, 2002). "USF faculty union supports Al-Arian". St. Petersburg Times.
  19. ^ "USF president Genshaft near top of highest-paid college execs lists". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  20. ^ "USF president Genshaft could earn $768,500 after trustees approve pay raise". TBO.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  21. ^ "BOT approves Genshaft for salary increase | The Oracle". Usforacle.com. 2017-03-09. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  22. ^ "USF President Judy Genshaft awarded new contract, raise of up to 8 percent". Tampabay.com. 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  23. ^ "USF group wants Bill Young's name removed from ROTC building". TBO.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  24. ^ Hair, Amber (June 23, 2016). "USF declared 'emerging preeminent,' gets $5 million for research".
  25. ^ "Adjunct faculty members rally to rebuke Genshaft, call for vote on proposed union". The Crow's Nest. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
  26. ^ Ferrise, Adam (21 June 2018). "Fresh Mark, where ICE arrested 146 people, has trail of undocumented workers, including one who died last year". Cleveland.com.
  27. ^ Matthew Rink. "Fresh Mark makes strides in meat industry". Indeonline.com. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  28. ^ "2016 Malone Award Recipient Judy Genshaft, University of South Florida" (PDF). Aplu.org. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
  29. ^ "USIL grants honorary doctorate to Dr. Judy Genshaft, president of the University of South Florida (USA)". cge.usil.edu.pe. Retrieved 2017-04-08.
  30. ^ "we love judy halftime show". September 1, 2012.