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Sunday, Mar 26, 2017
Business News

New USF dean to seek closer ties with business

TAMPA - The new dean of the business school at the University of South Florida said he'll seek closer ties with private businesses in Tampa Bay. USF named Moez Limayem, 48, as its new business school dean at a ceremony Tuesday, and he quickly emphasized the need for the business school to do more than train students. The school must start more direct partnerships with individual companies to solve problems they have in the market, Limayem said. He pledged new efforts to generate financial support from those companies for projects at USF. What's more, Limayem said the business school he will oversee starting in July must dedicate itself to improving USF's standing in academic rankings around the world.
Much as universities may hold grudges against magazines or organizations that rank universities as best or worst, "everything in America is ranked" — universities, cars, appliances, "even criminals are ranked: Most wanted," Limayem said. This approach sounds like progress, said real estate executive and former USF trustee Lee Arnold. "Now it's incumbent upon us in the business community to reach out to USF," Arnold said in an interview after the ceremony. "Not just with financial support, but with a commitment from the leadership in the business community to work with USF." Limayem takes over a powerhouse within USF. Depending on the time of year, the business school ranks as either the second- or third-largest college within the university. It has 5,760 undergraduates and 935 graduate students. Previously, Limayem, pronounced Li-MA-yem, chaired the Department of Information Systems at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and was associate dean for research and graduate studies at the school's Sam M. Walton College of Business. Limayem moves to Tampa with his two children and his wife, Alya Limayem, who was named a research assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology.

rmullins@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7919 Twitter: @DailyDeadline

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