Florida Polytechnic University names Presidential search finalists

by | Mar 25, 2024

Florida Polytechnic University’s Presidential Search Committee has named five finalists in their search for a new president, with forthcoming in-person interviews with the university’s Board of Trustees and interactions with campus stakeholders serving as the next step in the institution’s search.

Florida Polytechnic University’s Presidential Search Committee has announced five finalists in the search for the university’s next president.

The announcement came after a vote by the committee on Thursday, with the selection process attracting attention for its rigor and the high caliber of candidates considered.

The finalists are H. Keith Moo-Young from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, David P. Norton of the University of Florida, Daniel W. O’Sullivan from the U.S. Naval Academy, G. Devin Stephenson of Northwest Florida State College, and Bjong Wolf Yeigh, formerly of the University of Washington, Bothell.

“Our search committee thoroughly reviewed, vetted, and interviewed a vast pool of exceptionally qualified candidates to identify and recommend these finalists,” said Beth Kigel, vice-chair of the Florida Poly Board of Trustees and chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “I extend my gratitude to the members of the search committee for their time and commitment to ensuring a successful process and to the candidates engaged in the application and interview process for their enthusiasm and desire to help shape the future of Florida Poly.”

The next steps for the finalists include in-person interviews with the university’s Board of Trustees and interactions with campus stakeholders such as students, faculty, and staff. A presidential search was launched last year after the university’s founding president Randy Avent announced that he would step down from his role after serving as the institution’s lone leader since its inception in 2014.

In a public letter, Avent informed students and faculty that he intends to enter retirement in July 2024 but will continue as president until a successor is identified through a nationwide candidate search.

Under Avent, Florida Poly attained ABET accreditation in 2019 and regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in 2017. He also secured a public-private partnership with Fortune 500 company IFF to build its Global Citrus Innovation Center and oversaw the construction of a $47 million research building.

“Leading the University from its infancy to the strong campus we have today has been the privilege of my lifetime,” said AventI never imagined that I would be able to help establish a brand-new STEM university and mold the way it would serve students, industry, and the entire state.”


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