Thomas Becker will begin his new position as dean of the College of Business on July 1.

USF Sarasota-Manatee names Thomas Becker interim dean of College of Business

By: John Dudley

Posted: June 26, 2019

Dr. Thomas Becker

SARASOTA, Fla. (June 26, 2019)University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Regional Chancellor Karen A. Holbrook, PhD, has named Thomas Becker, PhD, as interim dean of the College of Business. Becker will officially begin his duties on July 1.

Becker succeeds Gert-Jan de Vreede, PhD, who served as interim dean for the past year and is returning to USF in Tampa, where he will become associate dean of the Muma College of Business.

“I am so appreciative of the leadership that Dr. de Vreede provided during this transitional period. He has done an exceptional job guiding our reunification efforts while strengthening partnerships with regional businesses as we move toward consolidation of the USF campuses,” Holbrook said. “I am thrilled that Dr. Becker will lead our College of Business into the next phase of its growth. Tom has a proven track record as an outstanding teacher and researcher, and he will be a tremendous leader for our faculty and students.”

   Dr. Gert-Jan de Vreede

“Tom has been a well-respected faculty member on our campus since 2014,” said Brett Kemker, PhD, regional vice chancellor for academic affairs and student success. “He has excellent knowledge of the College of Business programs and has consistently demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, service and administration. I am confident that in his new role as interim dean he will build upon the successes that our College of Business has achieved and make our programs even stronger.”

Becker arrived at USFSM in 2014 as an associate professor and was promoted to full professor of management in September 2015, teaching both undergraduate and MBA courses. He previously taught in the University of Delaware Lerner School of Business and Washington State University.

He has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching and received USFSM’s Excellence in Research Award in spring 2018. His primary research interests are employee commitment and motivation, job performance and research methods and statistics.

Becker is a co-researcher with USFSM Associate Professor of strategic management and entrepreneurship Jean Kabongo, PhD, on a project designed to study entrepreneurial resiliency in developing countries. Becker and Kabongo will travel to Africa next spring to conduct primary research.

He also is a co-researcher with USFSM colleagues Eric Hodges, PhD, and Ramakrishna Govindu, PhD, on a months-long study designed to assess the needs of veterans and their families in Manatee County and other counties in Florida. The needs assessment of military veterans was initiated by Christopher Nothdurft, a U.S. Army Veteran and recent graduate of the USFSM MBA program. Nothdurft’s work inspired the creation of the Veteran Research Coalition at USFSM and other veteran research initiatives.

Becker is among USFSM’s most-cited researchers, and his work has appeared in top journals in the field, including the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Management, Organizational Research Methods and the Journal of Applied Psychology.

He has worked with prominent organizations to improve individual and organizational effectiveness, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Army, Procter & Gamble Company and McDonald’s.

A 1982 USF graduate, Becker earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He holds a master’s degree and PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from The Ohio State University.

“I’m really looking forward to working with our senior leadership and faculty over the next year to help ensure we smoothly navigate the USF System consolidation process and continue to thrive,” Becker said. “We’ll do this by focusing on our strategic mission, strengthening relationships inside and outside of USFSM and continuing to work as a team to provide a first-class education for our students.”

USFSM’s College of Business offers eight undergraduate programs in addition to an MBA degree. The college is home to USFSM’s fast-growing Risk Management and Insurance program as well as the Bloomberg Lab, which houses 12 terminals that provide students with access to Bloomberg Marketing Concepts certification.

For more about USF Sarasota-Manatee, visit

Read more news stories below or view as a list