When the University of South Florida sought to increase rates of persistence and graduation, it empowered a cross-functional team of caring professionals to take action on insights generated from analytics systems.
Paul Dosal is the Vice President for Student Affairs and Student Success at the University of South Florida. In that position, he is responsible for coordinating the university- wide student success initiative, a strategic campaign to raise retention and graduation rates, boost student satisfaction, minimize financial indebtedness, and prepare all students for success in their careers or graduate and professional schools.
Thanks to a collaborative “movement” involving all colleges and units, the university has made remarkable gains in undergraduate student success, raising the six-year graduation rate from 51% to nearly 73% while also eliminating the achievement gap by race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. To advance the university’s student success initiative even further, he is forging a new team that touches on all aspects of the student experience, including Enrollment Planning and Management, Undergraduate Studies, Dean of Students, Residential Education, Health and Wellness, and Career Services.
Dr. Dosal is also a Professor of Latin American History at the University of South Florida, specializing in the modern history of Cuba and the Caribbean region. He is the author of four books, including Comandante Che, a study of the military career of the legendary Latin American revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara, and Doing Business with the Dictators, a history of the infamous United Fruit Company in Guatemala in the early 20th century.
Born and raised in Tampa, he is a fourth-generation descendant of Cuban immigrants who settled in Ybor City in 1889. He earned his B.A. in International Politics at St.Andrews College in Laurinburg, North Carolina. He received his M.A. in Latin American Studies and Ph.D. in History at Tulane University in New Orleans. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of South Florida, he taught for nine years at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.