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New Interim Dean Heads Liberal Arts and Sciences

Published: September 28, 2005

Dr. Joseph D. Sclafani began the new academic year as dean of The University of Tampa’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Formerly an associate dean at the college, Sclafani filled the vacancy left by former dean Jeffrey Klepfer, who returned to his position as an associate professor of psychology.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to play a leadership role in the college, and happy to be in the position of working with a talented team of higher education professionals,” Sclafani said. “We have assembled a very talented faculty who are student-centered and dedicated to the liberal arts mission. I believe we have the potential to make a difference in the lives of our students. Our goals for the upcoming years are a great roadmap to bring the college and its programs to the next level.”

Beginning in 2002, Sclafani directed the University’s successful bid for decennial re-accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the region’s most revered accrediting body. Last year, he published a book, The Educated Parent (Greenwood Publishing Group). Last spring, he served as interim chair in the Department of Psychology.

Sclafani is a tenured associate professor of psychology, and became an associate dean at the college in 1998. He began his UT career in 1987, and since then has been the recipient of professional and educational awards including an Outstanding Service award in 1996, Outstanding Contribution to Student Life in 1998, and the 2000-01 Louise Loy Hunter Award for Outstanding Faculty, awarded annually to one UT faculty member for cumulative contributions in teaching, service and scholarship.

As a clinical psychologist, Sclafani is deeply enmeshed in the study and teaching of child psychology. His research involves the success of personality tests in predicting the outcomes of child custody disputes. He also is an expert on the effects of the initial attachment between caregiver and child. He has considerable experience testing for learning disorders and for giftedness in children, and has served as an expert witness.

In private practice, Sclafani worked as an outpatient therapist and trainer of interns at Northside Centers Inc., and for a decade was co-owner of the Brandon Center for Family Therapy, which provided psychotherapy services for families, couples, step-families and individuals, child custody court evaluations, and psycho-educational testing services.

Sclafani earned his BA, MA and Ph.D. at the University of South Florida. His professional memberships include the American Psychological Association and the American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Past memberships have included the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, American Orthopsychiatric Association, Society for Research in Child Development, American Psychological Society, and the Hillsborough County Bar Association Interdisciplinary Committee on Family Law.

For more information, contact the Office of Public Information at or (813) 253-6232.