Getting to know USF Dean of College of Business Moez Limayem with this week's 10 questions for?

TAMPA - Are you ever curious about the real lives of politicians, celebrities, local newsmakers and athletes? Who are their mentors and who would they really like to meet?

Each Tuesday, ABC Action News asks 10 questions of a Bay area leader or celebrity.  This week we hear from a dean at one of the biggest universities in the U.S. and among the top three in Florida: Dean of USF College of Business Moez Limayem.

Dean Limayem joined USF in 2012. coming to the bay area from Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

He has an extensive resume and has earned numerous professional awards.

Dean Limayem has also published dozens of articles and according to his biography,  Limayem is also the coauthor of a scholarly book, "Understanding The Use of Technology-Based Self Service: The Consumers' Point of View."

Our Linda Hurtado also recently focused on some of the dean's research on a special report earlier this month on the dangers of texting and driving.

Dean Limayem actually lost a friend who was texting and driving. The loss, spurred him into researching  the use of mobile phones and technology.  He is now considered an expert in the field of social media and it's effects in dangerous settings.

According to his extensive research, "More than 1.6 million accidents are due to texting or calling or checking messages while driving," he said "This is approximately 28 percent of all accidents."

The dean is currently working on a follow-up study to the dangers. You can see Linda's report by heading to,

The dean also worked in the private sector as systems analyst and computing consultant before receiving an MBA and PhD in business administration from the University of Minnesota.  

He brings a wealth of expertise and experience to USF. Dean Limayem has taught at universities around the world, including the University of Minnesota, Laval University in Canada, City University of Hong Kong, and Lausanne University in Switzerland, as well as the University of Arkansas.

I have not had the pleasure yet of meeting Dean Limayem. But hope to interview him in a future story.

Read more on what shaped this inspiring educator....

1. What is your all-time favorite movie or song?
I love the 1982 movie "Ghandi" not only because it is a beautiful movie, but also because this telling of Gandhi's story demonstrates his integrity and illustrates a time when people worked together in meaningful, peaceful defiance.

2. Do you have a Smartphone? If so, what's your favorite app?
I am an iPhone user.  Like most people, my phone keeps my calendar and I use it to keep in touch via email.  The app that I use most often is "Cities" It helps me know what time it is in any city in the world.  I have lived in Tunisia, Hong Kong, Lausanne, Canada, and in several cities in the United States, so I have friends and family in many locations. I also have research collaborators who are located all over the world, so this app helps me make sure that I am calling or connecting with them at a reasonable hour!

3. Who do you count as your mentor(s)?
There are several who come to mind, but I will limit this answer to just two people!

I am very fortunate that my father, Tahar Limayem, was my first mentor, and is still involved in my life.  An elementary school principal in Tunisia, where I was raised, my father made sure that his children knew that integrity and our values defined us.  He also showed us that it is important to do more than what was expected.  I can remember times where he would take lamps into villages to tutor children after hours and he would bring his own children along for the extra help sessions.  He stressed that having ambition set us on a path, but integrity and a solid education made it possible for us to navigate that path.  He was firm with his children, but he was also a father who let us know we were loved and celebrated our successes with us.  Today, my two siblings are medical doctors and I have been recognized for my research and teaching in the business education arena.

As a young academic, I was mentored by Gordon Davis who is widely recognized as one of the founders of the information systems discipline.  He believed in me and helped me understand the path that I needed to follow in order to become a solid researcher, an  educator, and academic leader.  He really has had a big impact on my career.

4. What was your very first job?
When I was around ten years old, my grandfather owned a factory that produced cotton draperies.  He would let me tag along with him to work in the textile factory, paying me an extremely modest wage to help in the office.  I made copies and did a lot of filing!  I liked being there and my grandfather mentored me a lot during those summer experiences!

5. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I really

wish I could play a musical instrument.

6. What do you consider your greatest success?
My job involves research, teaching, and service and success is defined differently for each of these areas.  I have many research publications that I am proud of, and I am grateful to have been lauded for my academic service.  But the awards that mean the most to me are those that are related to my role as a teacher.  I have earned seven teaching awards.

The one that I am most proud of is the "3M Best Teacher in Canada" in 1998.  Being an educator is more than simply sharing knowledge with others, it includes a significant amount of preparation and research.  It has been said that people who teach without conducting research are plagiarizing the work of others.  To a certain extent, I think that is true.  The best teachers are those who still get nervous before each lecture because they are always conducting research, presenting new material, and coming up with new ways to make sure students grasp key concepts.  

7. Tell us something about you most people don't know?
I could eat pasta every day of the week.  Fresh, al dente pasta.  Mmmmm.

I speak four languages fluently and can "get by" in two others (Tunisian, English, Arabic, French, Italian, and Chinese).

8. If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?
Muhammad Ali - an iconic sports figure who overcame adversity.
Martin Luther King - a man of integrity who stood up for his beliefs.
Albert Einstein - a brilliant, inquisitive researcher whose work solved problems.

9. What is in your fridge right now?
I made the move to Tampa a few weeks before my wife and children, so it is a little bit empty right now!  However, there is some pasta, fruit, yogurt, and milk in there.  

10. If you could have a different career, other than what you're doing now, what would it be?
It sounds trite, but I don't want a different career.  Right now, I am living my dream.  My job includes opportunities to solve problems, create new programs, work collaboratively with business leaders, and to interact with and educate students.  These are all things I am passionate about.  If I have to provide an answer, then I guess it would be to be an entrepreneur, as I would create a company that let me follow these passions.

If you would like to suggest someone for 10 questions you can e-mail me at or "like" me on Facebook. To do that just head to ... and find me under the favorites tab and click the "like" button.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Sarina Fazan
News Anchor/Multimedia Journalist

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