Paul Dosal is the Vice Provost for 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. He also directs enrollment planning and management, supervising the offices of Undergraduate, Graduate, and International Admissions, the Registrar, and Financial Aid, as well as the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships and the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence.
Prior to his appointment as Vice Provost, he chaired the USF Student Success Task Force, a 100- person committee charged by the President and Provost in November 2009 to “establish goals for USF, 2010/2011 through 2020/2021, framed around policy, practices, programs, personnel and performance. The task force presented a 150-page document with actionable and prioritized recommendations on April 15, 2010. This document has served as the blueprint for radically transforming Student Success at USF. Since 2009, the six-year graduation rate at USF has jumped from 48% (2003 cohort) to 63% (2007 cohort).
From 2007 to July 2010 he served as the Executive Director of ENLACE Florida, a statewide network committed to promoting college readiness, access, and success for underrepresented students through non-partisan research, communication, advocacy, and support. He served as the Principal Investigator of the College Goal Sunday project and the KnowHow2Go campaign, both funded by Lumina Foundation for Education as part of a national effort to raise the percentage of Americans with high quality postsecondary degrees from 39% to 60% by 2025. ENLACE Florida has since been reorganized as the Florida College Access Network with funding from the Helios Education Foundation.
He 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. A graduate of Hillsborough High School in Tampa, 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.