Karen Holbrook, a senior adviser to University of South Florida System President Judy Genshaft, was named the new regional chancellor at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee on Thursday.
Holbrook replaces Terry Osborn, who served as interim regional chancellor for roughly nine months. Holbrook most recently served as executive vice president at USFSM.
Holbrook was introduced as the new regional chancellor during the USF Board of Trustees meeting Thursday. She will begin her new position on Jan. 2, 2018.
“I feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to take this institution forward,” Holbrook said in a news release. “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.”
Prior to this position, Holbrook served as the interim president at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach.
Before her position at Embry-Riddle, Holbrook was at 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 2002-07.
“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.”
The former regional chancellor, Sandra Stone, resigned in March after starting in the fall of 2014. There had been speculation that the university’s lagging fund raising efforts at the time may have been at play when Stone vacated her position, but she didn’t give her reasons in a letter to the USF community. Genshaft did not elaborate in announcing Stone’s resignation March 8.
“We set out to find a leader who would be an engaging partner with the Sarasota-Manatee community,” said Donna Petersen, dean of the USF College of Public Health, who chaired the Search Advisory Committee. “I am grateful for Dr. Holbrook’s professionalism, energy and vision and look forward to continued collaboration with her in her new role.”
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.
Holbrook 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.