TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 14, 2017) – University of South Florida System  President Judy Genshaft today named Dr. Karen Holbrook as the new regional chancellor of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee  (USFSM).
“I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to take this institution forward,” Holbrook said. “Our highest priority is student success and I think we have exceptional and unique opportunities for our students to be successful here. We provide personalized attention, which helps our students meet their academic and professional goals.”
Holbrook most recently served as executive vice president at USFSM and senior advisor to Genshaft. Prior to this position, she served as the interim president at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, after leaving the University of South Florida  where she was senior vice president for research and innovation, then senior vice president for global affairs and international research. Before coming to USF, Holbrook served as president of The Ohio State University from 2002-2007.
Before she led Ohio State, she served as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Georgia, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School at the University of Florida and associate dean for research and professor of biological structure and medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Holbrook has served as a professor at every institution where she has worked.
“Dr. Holbrook has strong ties to the Sarasota-Manatee region and brings an impressive record of accomplishment in higher education to the regional chancellor’s position,” Genshaft said. “I am confident she will continue the USF System’s strong upward trajectory. I would also like to thank Dr. Terry Osborn for his dedicated service as interim regional chancellor over the last nine months.”
Genshaft expressed her appreciation to Dr. Donna Petersen, senior associate vice president and dean of the USF College of Public Health, for her role in chairing the Search Advisory Committee, as well as to the rest of the committee members – comprised of faculty, staff, students and community leaders – for their many months of hard work.
“We set out to find a leader who would be an engaging partner with the Sarasota-Manatee community,” Petersen said. “I am grateful for Dr. Holbrook’s professionalism, energy and vision and look forward to continued collaboration with her in her new role.”
Holbrook was introduced as the new regional chancellor during the USF Board of Trustees meeting today. She will begin her new position on Jan. 2, 2018.
Holbrook has enjoyed a productive research career in the biomedical sciences and was a MERIT Award recipient from the National Institutes of Health. She has also served on several editorial boards of professional journals as well as numerous professional and academic boards.
She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a PhD in biological structure at the University of Washington School of Medicine, where she also served as a post-doctoral fellow in dermatology and as a faculty member.
“I am fortunate to be in a vibrant community that values education, and I look forward to working with our community partners,” Holbrook said. “I am also grateful to work with a dedicated and knowledgeable campus board and for the opportunity to collaborate with the diverse group of higher education institutions within our community.”