* Good luck to the University of South Florida in its presidential search to replace Judy Genshaft, who has been a fixture at USF for 18 years. The challenge is obvious for a major, urban, research-oriented university in 21st century America.
USF needs somebody well suited to be a major regional leader. Someone who’s comfortable being a high-profile part of regional economic synergy–from surrounding counties to Water Street Tampa. Somebody who knows that a university president’s responsibilities transcend campus and departmental priorities. But they also need somebody with serious academic cred, not a glib, political operative. As noted, good luck.
* There’s been some speculation about how a change in congressional representation could impact defense spending for Florida–and the Tampa Bay area. It’s a reminder of the sheer level of spending involved. It’s about $80 billion annually, including more than $17 billion a year in the Tampa Bay region. Defense spending is critically important to our economy, and a number of elected officials deserve credit for bringing in important, impactful pet projects. Just don’t mention the military industrial complex.