LAKELAND, Fla. – Florida Polytechnic University’s Board of Trustees today approved a contract for employment for Dr. Randy K. Avent who was chosen by the Board in April to be the University’s first president.
Dr. Avent is an accomplished academic leader and currently serves as Associate Vice Chancellor of Research Development at North Carolina State University (NC State) where he is also a professor of Computer Science and the founding director of the university’s Data Science Institute.
Prior to joining NC State, Dr. Avent served as the Chief Scientist in the Office of Basic Research in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. From 1986-2009 he held a variety of leadership positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory. Dr. Avent holds a B.S. degree in Zoology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, an M.S. degree from North Carolina State University in Electrical Engineering and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in Biomedical Mathematics and Engineering. He is also a graduate of the Boston Executive Program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
The approved contract provides for a salary of $385,000, which was determined following a study of presidential salaries at peer and aspirational institutions nationwide. The midpoint salary of the aspirational group in that study was $387,000.
As the University’s president, Dr. Avent will also be eligible, beginning the second year of employment, for a discretionary performance bonus established by the Board, not to exceed twenty percent of his annual salary. The contract also provides for a fifteen percent contribution to a deferred retirement plan, a standard benefits package, transportation and housing reimbursement. These benefits are comparable to those found in presidential contracts throughout the State University System of Florida.
Dr. Avent is expected to start as president of Florida Polytechnic University on July 7, 2014. The next step in the University’s hiring process is a presentation to the Board of Governors for confirmation.