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Rhea Law confirmed as USF's eighth president

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Posted at 11:47 AM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-30 11:47:59-04

TAMPA, Fla. — University of South Florida interim president Rhea Law was confirmed as the school's eighth president on Wednesday. She's the first USF alum to fill the role.

The Florida Board of Governors voted to confirm Law, who has served at the school's interim president since August.

“Rhea Law has worked tirelessly for many years to advocate for the University of South Florida and strengthen the entire Tampa Bay region through her commitment to civic engagement and public service,” BOG Chair Brian Lamb said. “Rhea is a proven leader who will continue USF’s trajectory of excellence.”

RELATED: USF names Rhea Law as school's eighth president

According to a press release, Law previously served as chair of the board of trustees, worked at the school as a staff member and was a student. She released a university-wide statement after the confirmation, which shared her vision for the school.

"Today's confirmation by the Board of Governors is a recognition of the University of South Florida’s tremendous momentum," Law said. "I am continuously inspired by the dedication of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and others within our community to shaping a better world and changing lives. It’s their passion, commitment and talent that will make the next era for USF our finest yet.”

Law is also the former executive officer and chair of the board of Fowler White Boggs, a Florida law firm. She led the merger of Fowler with a national firm, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, in 2014. She is one of the founding members of the USF Board of Trustees, where she spent five years as vice-chair and four years as the first and only female chair.

She is also a founding member of the Board of Directors of the USF Law Alumni Society, served as a member of the USF Research Foundation Board and was named a 2018 Distinguished Alumna by the USF Alumni Association. Law has served on numerous other boards across the Tampa Bay area.

Law earned her undergraduate degree in management from USF, putting herself through school while working as the university research project administrator for the Office of Sponsored Research. She then earned her terminal degree in law at Stetson University College of Law, where she later served as chair of their Board of Overseers, helping to select both a dean of the College of Law and president of the university.

Law will replace Steven Curral who served as school president from 2019-2021.