MANATEE -- Arthur Guilford, regional chancellor of University of South Florida Sarasota Manatee since 2007, is stepping down at the end of July, the school announced Tuesday.
"Now is just the time to do it. I don't try to hide my age," Guilford, 68, told the Bradenton Herald.
"I am retiring at the end of January 2015; however, in order to facilitate the hiring of a news regional chancellor, I will be stepping down from my position at the end of July 2014," he said in an email to to USF supporters this week.
"The normal hiring cycle for higher education administrators is June to August of each year. Therefore, it will be helpful for me to step down from my current position at the end of July," Guilford wrote.
"There is no reason in the world we can't be select someone between now and the end of July," Guilford told the Herald.
Guilford said that even after retirement, he plans to make sure collaboration remain strong with SCF, Ringling and New College.
"We made excellent progress in monthly meetings, and we have been working on a board of governor's grant, which would allow us to look more at IT ," Guilford said.
During the remaining six months, Guilford, who has worked for USF for 38 years, said he will work on special projects, including the transition to a new chancellor.
"We have accomplished a great deal over these past years, and I am confident that USF Sarasota-Manatee will continue to grow and develop in all the ways that we have planned," Guilford said.
USF said in a news release it will conduct a national search for a new regional chancellor. The search will be chaired by Sophia Wisniewska, regional chancellor of USF St. Petersburg.
The USF news release has more:
A native Floridian, Guilford began his career at USF Tampa in 1975 as an assistant professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders. He was then chair of the department for 15 years, and became associate dean of faculty and program development for USF Tampas College of Arts and Sciences in 2004, overseeing tenure, honors and awards for over 650 faculty members. In 2006, Guilford was appointed by USF President Judy Genshaft to lead the search for a new regional chancellor of USF Sarasota-Manatee. After meeting with several qualified candidates, the faculty of USFSM collectively petitioned for Guilford to be interviewed for the position and he was appointed regional chancellor in 2007.
During Guilfords tenure, USF Sarasota-Manatee has matured and prospered. Among his many visionary accomplishments are attainment of separate accreditation for USFSM; the creation of a learning center in North Port; development of a robust general education program and recruitment of the institutions first freshman class into a four-year program; launching of the College of Hospitality & Technology Leaderships Culinary Innovation Lab in Lakewood Ranch; and a unique biology degree and science labs in partnership with Mote Marine that are emblematic of the Universitys response to emerging community needs. Since 2007, the number of degrees awarded by USFSM has increased by 18 percent. The College of Educations innovative Center for Partnerships in Arts Integrated Teaching (PAINT) and the establishment of USFSMs first athletic teamthe only collegiate crew club in Sarasota and Manatee countiesare further legacies of Guilfords leadership.
USF President Judy Genshaft said, The University of South Florida System is deeply appreciative of Arthur Guilfords leadership at USF Sarasota-Manatee. He has been a valued part of USF for almost four decades and a highly respected leader of a great team for the past seven years. I know that the entire Sarasota-Manatee community joins me in wishing him and his wife, Lynn, every happiness in retirement.
As Guilford approaches retirement, he looks back on his time at USFSM with great affection. The past 38 years with USF and my seven years at the helm of USFSM have been a time of rewarding change, growth and improvement of our regional presence, Guilford said. I have very much enjoyed my tenure with the University and celebrate the meaningful partnerships we have forged with other institutions of higher learning in the area, as well as the Perlman Music Program, Lifelong Learning Academy and community leaders. Our outstanding faculty, staff and students have accomplished a great deal and I am confident that USF Sarasota-Manatee will continue to develop and thrive. I look forward to observing that growth and the continuance of a high standard of excellence from the vantage point of retirement with my wife, Lynn. The Guilfords will remain active in the Sarasota-Manatee community and plan to divide their time between their primary residence in Sarasota and a vacation home in Cashiers, North Carolina. They will enjoy spending more time with their two children and six grandchildren.