Florida Poly Board of Trustees announces presidential search committee

Sep 07, 2023
Florida Polytechnic University

The presidential search committee in charge of finding Florida Poly’s second president was announced by the University’s Board of Trustees on Thursday, Sept. 7.

The Florida Polytechnic University Board of Trustees announced the selection of the 15-member presidential search committee that will work to find the institution’s second president.

Dr. Randy K. Avent announced last month that he will be stepping down as Florida Poly’s founding president at the end of the current academic year, after a decade of great success. He said he will be returning to the University to join the faculty after taking a brief sabbatical. 

Trustee Chair Cliff Otto, who was in charge of appointing the search committee, emphasized its membership closely follows the Florida Board of Governors Regulation 1.002, including representatives from the University Board of Trustees, the Board of Governors, the University Foundation Board of Directors, faculty, administrative staff, student body, alumni, and the community. Board of Trustees Vice Chair Beth Kigel will serve as chair of the committee. 

The members of the presidential search committee are: 

  • Beth Kigel – Chair, Presidential Search Committee; Vice Chair, Florida Poly Board of Trustees
  • Wesley Barnett – Community/Business Leader
  • Dr. Matt Bohm – Faculty, Professor 
  • Mark Bostick – Florida Poly Board of Trustees 
  • Jack Harrell, III – Chair, Florida Poly Foundation Board; Community/Business Leader 
  • Jordan Jernigan – Florida Poly Alumna; Associate Director of Alumni Relations  
  • Ken Jones – State University System of Florida Board of Governors 
  • Stephanie Madden – City of Lakeland Commissioner 
  • Melia Rodriguez – President, Florida Poly Student Government Association; Florida Poly Board of Trustees
  • Dr. Sanna Siddiqui – Faculty, Assistant Professor
  • Lyn Stanfield – Florida Poly Board of Trustees 
  • Bud Strang – Community/Business Leader
  • Gary C. Wendt – Florida Poly Board of Trustees
  • Dr. David Williams – Florida Poly Board of Trustees
  • Donald H. Wilson, Jr. – Community/Business Leader

“Appointing a president is the most important responsibility of the Board of Trustees. I am grateful to Committee Chair Kigel for her leadership and vision, and to each member of the committee for the wisdom, experience, and passion for Florida Poly they will bring to this critical task,” Otto said. “We are committed to conducting a successful search process, and I’m confident we will find an exceptionally talented and qualified individual with strong STEM academic management experience to serve as the second president of Florida Polytechnic University.”

During the Aug. 21 Board of Trustees meeting, and in accordance with guidelines established by the Board of Governors, Otto officially charged the committee, authorizing them to conduct the important work that will result in the appointment of Florida Poly’s next leader. The charge detailed the Board of Trustees’ expectations for the search process and the responsibilities granted to the committee. 

The Board of Trustees also approved Committee Chair Kigel to be the Board’s designee for deciding on the use of a search firm. Kigel has recommended and the University has retained Greenwood Asher & Associates to serve as the executive search firm to assist the committee with their work. 

Once the search committee ends the process by narrowing the qualified candidates to a final few, the full Florida Poly Board of Trustees will vote to select the University’s next president. The selection is subject to confirmation by the Florida Board of Governors. 


Lydia Guzmán
Director of Communications