Today’s decision by the Florida Board of Governors to confirm me as the sixth President of FIU is, in many ways, a dream come true.
My connection with the State University System spans almost a half-century, beginning with my freshman year at Florida State University and culminating as the humbled and honored leader of this great university we all call home.
As a first-generation college student in the mid-1970s, it never occurred to me that I would eventually attend graduate school to become a college professor, much less become a university president. Yet here I am, full of optimism and Panther pride, focused and energized to get to work and collaborate with you as we usher FIU to new heights.
My story, and the story of so many of you, embodies the power of our State University System and our state’s public universities - we transform lives and provide opportunities for students to realize their full potential. Here we open doors to dreams never thought possible.
Back in 1983, as a new professor at Florida Atlantic University, I made a commitment to educate students, conduct research, and serve both my profession and my community.
Now, as your president, I am more committed than ever before to these guiding principles and responsibilities, focused specifically on student success, research excellence, sustainable resources, and affinity and engagement.
As we look ahead to the next 50 at FIU, I invite you to join me on our path toward Top 50, focused on providing a world-class education that prepares our students for great careers and meaningful community impact. Together, we will ensure FIU is at the epicenter of developing innovative solutions to the complex problems of our day, as well as a major driver of workforce development and economic growth.
I’d like to thank the Florida Board of Governors, the FIU Board of Trustees, the Presidential Search Committee, and the entire Panther family for entrusting me with being the leader that guides FIU’s tradition of excellence into our next 50 years.
FIU is on the rise and, together, we will continue to push boundaries, exceed expectations, and affect change in our community and around the world.