SARASOTA, Fla. (Aug. 28, 2015) – USF Sarasota-Manatee’s colleges of Arts & Sciences and Business are seeing several new faces this semester thanks partly to higher enrollments and continued strength in technology careers.
Overall, USF Sarasota-Manatee added another 17 faculty members for the fall term – one more than for fall 2014 and three more than fall 2013.
Universities regularly adjust employee levels as academic needs change. While USFSM won’t know its full enrollment picture until Monday, the institution anticipates an influx of full-time student registrations, bolstering the need for instructors.
Dr. Terry Osborn, regional vice chancellor for academic and student affairs, said some of that growth can be attributed to the Board of Governors’ decision in June to remove USFSM’s enrollment cap for underclassmen – freshmen and sophomores.
With the cap removed, more instructors will be required to fill out Arts & Sciences’ general education classes.
“It’s important that we meet the demands of our students and our accreditation,” said Dr. Osborn, adding that in some cases the hiring process for new faculty began almost a year ago as USFSM was under review for removal of the enrollment cap. He said he expects the full impact of the Board of Governors’ decision to be felt in succeeding years.
Of the 17 brought on board this semester, nine went to the College of Arts & Sciences. The College of Business saw six additional hires, largely on continued strength of Information Technology jobs, while the remaining two new faculty were divided between the College of Education and College of Hospitality & Tourism Leadership.
Additionally, two instructors were promoted: Dr. Christelle Bouchard, hired last year, was promoted from visiting assistant professor in biology to assistant professor. John Stewart was promoted from visiting instructor in professional & technical communication to instructor. He was hired in 2013.
“I think that we have a really strong and diverse faculty committed to both teaching and research,” Dr. Osborn said. “I truly feel that we continue to build our world-class faculty.”
Among the new faces at Arts & Sciences, Dr. Carlos Santamaria said he was drawn to USFSM by its small class sizes – 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, on average – and budding biology program.
“When I interviewed I was very impressed by the student-faculty interactions, the level of student participation in lectures and the dedication to teaching science as it is carried out,” Dr. Santamaria said. “That, combined with the promise of joining a new biology program young and nimble enough to adapt with the times, convinced me to come to USFSM.”
Dr. Santamaria will lecture at a teaching lab at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota but conduct research at one of the new modular biological laboratories at the campus’ north end.
Also a newcomer, Dr. Phillip Wagner, director of Core Curriculum and an Arts & Sciences communications instructor, echoed Dr. Santamaria, saying he liked USFSM’s size – roughly 2,000 students – but also its connection to the larger USF System.
“I love USFSM specifically because it’s small enough for faculty to all know each other and for faculty to really have the opportunity to know their students,” Dr. Wagner said.
Not all of the recently added faculty are new to the USF System. Heather Duncan, an instructor and coordinator of clinical education at the College of Education, worked for nine years as an adjunct instructor for USF. Additionally, before coming to USFSM, she was a district resource officer for Pinellas County Schools, helping children with autism.
“I was intrigued and excited about the focus of arts-integration within the College of Education and look forward to infusing this approach within my internship seminar courses,” the St. Petersburg native said.
Serdar Ongan, a visiting professor of hospitality management, previously worked in Istanbul. Regarding USFSM, he said: “I loved the campus and the faculty.”
And Mubarak Banisakher, a visiting professor of Information Technology, said he felt comfortable at the campus almost from the outset. He started Aug. 7.
“Our campus is a great campus,” he said. “It has leadership that is willing to take on remarkable initiatives to bring this campus to the next level of excellence.”