LAKELAND, Fla. – Florida Polytechnic University’s Board of Trustees can now count on valuable Harvard wisdom from its new trustee, Dr. Earl Sasser. Florida’s Board of Governors appointed the Harvard Business School professor emeritus recently to serve as a trustee effective immediately. Sasser was a Harvard faculty member from 1969 until his retirement in 2017.
“This is still a young university and being a member of the Board of Trustees gives me the opportunity to have an impact,” Sasser said. “If this venture turns out the way I think it will, Florida Poly will be a real asset not only for Central Florida, but for the entire state.”
Sasser’s successful career in academia earned him multiple leadership roles within Harvard Business School. He was chair of the MBA Program from 1988 to 1991, faculty chair of the Advanced Management Executive Education Program from 1992 to 1995, senior associate dean of executive education from 1995 to 2000, and chair of the Board of Harvard Business School Interactive from 2000 to 2003.
“I’ve been part of the decision-making process at Harvard and I’ve seen what the issues are, mainly in terms of students and faculty,” Sasser said. “As a trustee I’ll be able to transfer some of those insights as we make decisions to make Florida Poly better. I bring a perspective that others on the Board might not have.”
Sasser, who now lives in Winter Park, Florida, is no stranger to Florida Poly. In 2018, he helped develop an executive leadership course at the University designed to help managers expand their leadership skills and innovative thinking. However, Sasser said he has much to learn as he moves forward as a trustee.
“I have to learn more about being in a public institution because I come from a private one and I know that things operate differently when you’re talking about a state university,” he said.
Sasser will serve on Florida Poly’s Board of Trustees until the term expires on July 15, 2024.
“Dr. Sasser is a distinguished academic and professor at Harvard and we are excited and honored to welcome him to our Board of Trustees,” said Dr. Randy Avent, president of Florida Poly. “I’m looking forward to his remarkable expertise as we continue to build the academic curriculums and reputation that make Florida Poly the best STEM institution it can be.”
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