Kenneth A. Jessell named president of Florida International University

by | Oct 17, 2022

 

  • Kenneth A. Jessell will be the next president of Florida International University, following a unanimous decision by the university’s Board of Trustees to appoint him
  • Jessell has served as FIU’s interim president since January. Prior to the role, Jessell worked as the university’s top financial officer and Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration
  • Jessell’s appointment still needs to be confirmed by the state Board of governors, who are set to meet in November

On Monday, the Florida International University (FIU) Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint interim university president Kenneth A. Jessell to the permanent position. Jessell will become FIU’s sixth-ever president.

Serving the interim role since January, Jessell formerly worked as the university’s top financial officer and Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration. Jessell was the lone consideration for the position despite a nationwide search.

In late September, the FIU Presidential Search Committee submitted a recommendation for Dr. Kenneth A. Jessell to be appointed as president.

According to a university statement, just one candidate was recommended to the Board of Trustees after other individuals refused to continue their candidacy unless they were the committee’s lone choice.

“In Dr. Jessell we have found the best possible leader for FIU at this moment in its history,” said Dean C. Colson, chair of the FIU Board of Trustees. “His passion, vision, and knowledge of the institution are unmatched. We are fortunate to have him.”

Jessell was appointed interim President after former university leader Mark Rosenberg resigned citing health difficulties before ultimately admitting he was under investigation for allegations of harassment towards a young employee.

Per the university, a search firm consulted to assist in the candidate search communicated with approximately 186 individuals regarding the position. From this group, more than 70 individuals submitted their documents to be considered by the search committee.

Jessell was selected from a pool of 12 individuals that the Presidential Search Committee interviewed. Nine of the 12 were sitting, past or interim presidents.

“We have realized significant success in many of these areas, and yes, the best is yet to come for FIU,” Jessell said. “FIU is on a trajectory of success, and I am committed to ensuring that we have the focus and the resources to achieve our goals and continue to provide our students exceptional opportunities.”

Jessell’s appointment is pending confirmation by the Florida Board of Governors, which is scheduled to meet on Nov. 9 and 10, 2022.

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