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Betty Castor returning to USF

Early edition: The former USF president and longtime politician will lead a fledgling think tank in Tampa.

By Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler
Published December 19, 2006


TAMPA — Betty Castor is a Bull once again.

The former University of South Florida president and longtime politician will lead the Patel Center for Global Solutions, a fledgling USF research center that aims to improve living conditions in poor countries such as Kenya, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

Castor’s first day is Jan. 2, nearly 18 months after Drs. Kiran and Pallavi Patel established the center with a record gift worth $34.5-million including state matching funds.

Castor will be paid $197,000 a year, and she is eligible for an 8 percent bonus at the end of the year.

“I’m excited,” said Castor, 65. “This is a great opportunity for me. When the provost came to me with this (offer), I just kept thinking about how the university could help build its identity beyond where it is today, by establishing a legacy in these countrues that have so many needs.”

USF officials want the center to be more than just a think-tank of researchers.

They envision a place where researchers work with private and public organizations to develop practical, real- world solutions for improving the world’s potable water supply and improving commercial trade in impoverished countries.

Castor left the USF presidency in 1999, but she said she never really stopped being a part of the university.

“I’m always cheering on the Bulls,” she smiled. “I love this university. And I’m delighted to be returning.”


[Last modified December 19, 2006, 11:49:45]

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