Interview with Dr. Karen Holbrook, Senior Vice President for Research, Innovation & Global Affairs
May 9, 2011
In November 2010 Dr. Karen Holbrook was charged with heading up international initiatives for USF. With the addition of this role she now oversees the Office of Research & Innovation and USF World (formerly International Affairs) to create an integrated, system-wide global research strategy for the university.
USF is one of the fastest growing research universities in the nation, classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the top tier of research universities, a highly selective distinction for any university. Under Holbrook’s leadership the Office of Research & Innovation has seen tremendous growth and multiple successes which include creating a more faculty centric support system for identifying funding, grant development, international travel, grant management and overall support. TRAIN ™ (The Research Administration Improvement Network) was created to teach professional competencies and skills to administrators who are involved in research related enterprises, but it is also designed for faculty to gain skills to pursue and manage their own research activities. Other successes include the founding of the National Academy of Inventors™ and the USF inaugural chapter.
As Dr. Holbrook begins the exciting task of reorganizing and building the international structure for USF several changes have already taken place. First, the departments under the USF World umbrella now include; Education Abroad, International Services, the Confucius Institute, the Center for India Studies, the Peace Corps Office, the Institute on Black Life, the Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean (ISLAC), and the Africa Initiatives Faculty Group.
Secondly, Dr. Holbrook has appointed senior leadership to oversee USF World. Reporting directly to Holbrook are two Associate Vice President’s, Dr. Roger Brindley overseeing Global Academic Programs, and Dr. María Crummett who will oversee Global Affairs. Dr. Crummett previously served as Dean of International Affairs. Holbrook has also identified Dr. Kiki Caruson, Research Administration Faculty Fellow, to be a liaison between Research and World.
USF World has begun this new transition by adding new positions including an International Risk and Security Analyst who will serve as a resource for students, parents, faculty, staff and administrators regarding safety, and security abroad. This position will fall under the Office of Education Abroad. Another change for Education Abroad is the designation of space in the Marshall Center for a ‘store front’. This space and visibility will help Education Abroad reach out more effectively to their target audience, students.
Over the last 6 months USF World has started work on several new initiatives including a special collaboration with Academic Affairs and MacDill Air Force Base to provide additional opportunities between USF and MacDill. The collaboration is spearheaded by Lieutenant General Martin Steele, United States Marine Corps (Ret.).
In the works are several projects including creating an international student recruitment strategy and developing stronger partnerships with internationally engaged offices across campus like INTO USF. Holbrook and her team are thinking big, below is an interview with the Senior VP which gives more insight into USF World.
What is USF World?
What is the first step for USF World under this new structure?
What is the vision for USF World?
What are some of the key projects USF World will tackle?
How does faculty fit in to USF World?
How do you see USF World’s role in the University System?
How will USF World and Research work together?
USF has recently created an Office of Innovation Partnerships with the goal of connecting our investigators and students with the businesses and enterprises world-wide. There are opportunities for students to engage in international internships and for students and faculty to connect with multinational companies. The office of Research & Innovation is also thinking with us as to how to support “World.” Our goal is to hire some senior research administrators who will specifically focus on how to enhance and support our global research activities.
Paint a picture of USF World in the next 5 and 10 years.