|6th President of the|
University of South Florida
July 5, 2000 – June 30, 2019
|Preceded by||Betty Castor|
|Succeeded by||Steven C. Currall|
|Born||January 7, 1948|
|Alma mater||University of Wisconsin at Madison |
Kent State University
Early life and career
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.
Judy graduated from University of Wisconsin at Madison with a Bachelor of Arts in social work and psychology in 1969. She completed her masters in 1973 and doctorate in 1975 at Kent State University in school counseling and counseling psychology, respectively. She joined the faculty of Ohio State University in 1976 as an assistant professor in school psychology. 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.
In 1992, she became dean of the school of Education at the University at Albany. After a national search and recommended by the search committee, Hitchcock promoted her to Vice President of Academic Affairs. She became the provost at the University at Albany in 1997. Genshaft became the president of USF in July 2000. Genshaft named NFL Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon as USF's director of athletics in May 2001.
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.
President at University of South Florida
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. 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. 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. The faculty adviser to the Provost resigned in protest of the firing. 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. 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.
She received $879,506 for the 2015-2016 academic year, ranking her as the 11th highest paid university president in the United States. After 2015, her contract was renewed year-to-year rather than spanning five years. 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. Under Florida law, state funding for the president's salary is capped at $200,000. USF uses private funding to make up the difference.
Relationship with student body
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.
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.
Adjunct faculty protests
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.
Genshaft married Steven Greenbaum in 1989 and has two sons. Genshaft's brother is Neil Genshaft, Chief Executive Officer of Fresh Mark. 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.
Genshaft received leadership awards from Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand. She received an honorary degree from Yeungnam University. In 2012, the USF marching band dedicated its first half time show of the 2012-13 season to her.
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