May 20, 2024

Press Release

USF names new Muma College of Business dean

| 5/14/2024

TAMPA, Fla. (May 14, 2024)—The University of South Florida today announced the appointment of David Blackwell as the new Lynn Pippenger Dean of the Muma College of Business. Blackwell comes to USF after serving as associate dean for professional graduate programs at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics.

In his new position, Blackwell will provide strategic leadership for the college, which consists of approximately 8,400 students, nearly 180 faculty members and more than 110 staff members across USF’s three campuses. His responsibilities will include overseeing the recruitment, development and retention of faculty and staff; continually improving the college’s research and teaching programs; closely partnering with the university community on ways to advance student success; stewarding the college’s resources and undertaking creative fundraising efforts, as well as enhancing relationships with the college’s alumni, friends, donors and executive advisory councils.

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Blackwell as the new dean of the Muma College of Business,” USF Provost and Executive Vice President Prasant Mohapatra said. “Dr. Blackwell is entrepreneurial, committed and experienced in ways that will continue to elevate the college’s profile and advance USF’s goal to be ranked as a Top 25 public university.”

In his previous leadership positions, Blackwell has prioritized student success, as evidenced by significant advancements in student enrollment, retention and graduation rates. His research covers many topics, including corporate finance, commercial bank management, executive compensation and securities underwriting. In addition, Blackwell has consulted with major companies on various financial matters, establishing his expertise and national reputation in the field.

"Leveraging the existing strengths of the Muma College of Business community has always been a cornerstone of its success, and David Blackwell’s proven track record in this regard is unparalleled," said Pam and Les Muma, named donors of the college. "We are confident that under his leadership, we will witness an exciting new chapter of innovation, growth and achievement. The future looks bright, and we eagerly anticipate the contributions David will bring to our vibrant academic community." 

Before his tenure at the University of Kentucky, Blackwell held positions at institutions including Texas A&M University, the University of Georgia, the University of Houston and Emory University. Blackwell earned both his bachelor’s degree in economics and his doctorate in finance from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

“I am honored to be selected to serve USF and lead the Muma College of Business to even higher levels of excellence.  The talented faculty and staff have established a strong foundation of innovative programs, student success and pathbreaking research,” Blackwell said. “The impressive roster of donors, alumni and industry partners means that we can continue to provide meaningful outcomes to our students, support a research program commensurate with USF’s recent AAU membership, and serve the business community in the Tampa Bay region.”

Blackwell will officially join the USF community in his new position in July.

USF’s Muma College of Business leverages analytics, critical thinking and creativity to empower its scholars and graduates to lead in business and transform the future of business in our region. More information about the college, including points of pride and rankings, can be found here.

About the University of South Florida

The University of South Florida, a high-impact research university dedicated to student success and committed to community engagement, generates an annual economic impact of more than $6 billion. With campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee, USF serves approximately 50,000 students who represent nearly 150 different countries. U.S. News & World Report has ranked USF as one of the nation’s top 50 public universities for five consecutive years, and this year USF earned its highest ranking ever among all universities public or private. In 2023, USF became the first public university in Florida in nearly 40 years to be invited to join the Association of American Universities, a prestigious group of the leading universities in the United States and Canada. Through hundreds of millions of dollars in research activity each year and as one of the top universities in the world for securing new patents, USF is a leader in solving global problems and improving lives. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference. Learn more at



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