Board of Trustees Update / Presidential Search Progress

Friday, January 27, 2023

Dear Florida Tech community,

Today we concluded very productive meetings of the Board of Trustees and I’m happy to provide you with an update.

Academic News

First, the Board is pleased that the university is proceeding with our Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine affiliation that we publicly announced January 12. The medical school will be located in L3Harris Commons and Burrell students will be able to utilize Florida Tech’s libraries, fitness facilities, student health services and housing. An important piece of the affiliation is the Medical School Pathway program allowing Florida Tech pre-med students guaranteed admission into Burrell if they meet the academic performance criteria. Our faculty, staff and administration have worked diligently for some time to prepare for this new venture and we look forward to the benefits for our students and our community.

Also during our meetings, our Provost, Dr. Marco Carvalho, shared important information regarding our ongoing efforts to strengthen yield, retention and graduation rates. These efforts are moving in the right direction and we will have details to share soon. This foundational work promises to positively impact all of our educational efforts.

Facilities and Resource Investments

Facilities enhancements benefiting our students continue. Honoring the Board’s ongoing commitment to strategic athletics investments designed to increase our competitiveness within the Sunshine State Conference, the Board approved up to $2.8 million in improvements to Stottler Field and the Varsity Training Center Field for soccer and lacrosse. This important investment allows the university to replace the natural grass on Stottler Field and the worn turf on the Varsity Training Center Field with Shaw Legion NXT 2.0 synthetic turf with a natural GeoFill infill, and NXT Play pad which supports the safety of our scholar-athletes.  This investment in these two fields is also expected to create improved field access opportunities for our club and intramural sports programs.

The Board has also approved the purchase of eight new 2025 Piper Pilot 100i aircraft for our flight training program. This is Piper’s latest training aircraft with remarkable avionics and cutting-edge technology. This future-facing acquisition reflects a $3.2 million investment in new technology and flight training capability and will transition our fleet into all-glass avionics.

Presidential Search

It’s my privilege to announce that after a thorough and complete search, the Board has identified finalists for the presidency. There was a great deal of interest and excitement in the opportunity to lead Florida Tech. We had 112 applicants, and the Search Committee has narrowed the list to five finalists who we will welcome to campus in February:

  • Wolf Yeigh, Professor of Engineering and former Chancellor of the University of Washington, Bothell (Monday, February 6)
  • Louis Martin-Vega, Dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University (Wednesday, February 8)
  • John Nicklow, President and CEO of the University of New Orleans (Friday, February 10)
  • John Wiencek, Provost and Executive Vice President of the University of Akron (Monday, February 13)
  • Jennifer Sinclair Curtis, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and former Dean of Engineering at the University of California, Davis (Friday, February 17)

You will find finalist biographies here. Finalists will tour campus and meet with the Search Advisory Committee, students, college Deans, faculty, executive leadership and the Board of Trustees. Each visit will conclude with an open forum for the campus community to meet finalists from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Hartley Room. Those attending will receive a survey link to provide feedback to the Search Committee on each finalist. The schedule of campus open forums is also posted here. Feedback from the campus visits will be compiled by the Search Committee and provided to the Board of Trustees for final review and selection of the next President. The final selection and announcement are expected by the end of March with the new President arriving on campus this summer.

The Board and administration will work collaboratively over the coming months to prepare for the arrival of our next President. We appreciate the ongoing support and input of the entire university community as we complete this important charge.

I wish to express the Board’s gratitude to Dr. Carvalho for his service as Acting President early in our transition process and for his continued efforts as Executive Vice President, Provost and Chief Operating Officer through the end of this academic year. We congratulate him for being named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and are pleased that the university will continue to benefit from his ongoing role as a faculty member and Executive Director of the Harris Institute for Assured Information.

I also want to thank Interim President Robert King who is ably guiding our university as we continue this leadership transition. His experience and perspective have been of great benefit to me and to us all as we position Florida Tech for great things to come.

I will keep you updated as we all work together to move Florida Tech forward.


Travis Proctor, Chair
Board of Trustees

Announcements & Messages

Prior announcements and messages to the greater Florida Tech community may be referenced below.

December 19, 2022

 Hello faculty and staff,

I’m coming to you with a special opportunity to give back to your community this holiday season. As you know, the generosity of Florida Tech faculty and staff means that your university is a respected leader in the annual United Way campaign for Brevard County—and the campaign isn’t over yet.

If you have never made a campaign contribution or have not made one this year, you have a separate email from the United Way with a personalized link so that you may conveniently “click” and make a gift. If you already made a payroll deduction contribution in last year’s campaign—good news! For your convenience, that contribution will roll on into 2023. If you feel moved to make a gift in addition to your previous contribution, you can do that as well.

In this season of giving—as perhaps you find yourself with a little extra this month—please carefully consider making a contribution to help our neighbors in need. I’ve made my gift, and I hope you will too.

Now is the time that you can make a difference.

Thank you and happy holidays,

Bob King
Interim President

Campus Health and Safety

Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022
Dear Florida Tech community,
We’re all looking forward to an amazing new academic year full of promise and potential. As we begin fall classes, I want to remind you of our ongoing efforts to help everyone stay healthy and safe.
During the summer, we lifted the restrictive protocols associated with the COVID-19 pandemic as the circumstances allowed. However, we continue to monitor COVID conditions in our community and regularly review the status of campus health with the support of our Pandemic Response Team. Handwashing, personal health monitoring and the individual choice to wear a face covering are strongly encouraged in promotion of a healthy campus environment.
Whatever health concerns you may read about in the media—whether it be COVID-19, monkeypox, or something else—vigilance is key. Florida Tech is monitoring these issues very closely this fall, and we will keep the campus community informed should the need arise to adjust any of our practices or protocols. Meanwhile, additional resources are always available through our Holzer Heath Center.
Let’s continue making healthy choices and looking after ourselves and one another. Have a great start to your fall term.
Robert L. King
Interim President

August 19, 2022 - A Message from Interim President Robert King


July 22, 2022 - A Message from Interim President Robert King


Dear Florida Tech community,

My sincere thanks to everyone who has offered kind words of welcome and support since my arrival on campus. I now understand that the “warmth” of Florida Tech isn’t just about the weather. I feel like a Panther already and have high hopes for the future of this university.

Today marks the end of my first week at Florida Tech, and what a week it’s been.  

I have settled into my office, explored our beautiful campus and had productive and enjoyable conversations with several members of Florida Tech’s faculty and staff. I have also been thoroughly apprised of the university’s recent decision to transition rowing and several other varsity athletics programs to club sports and the thoughtful discussions that ensued.

Yesterday, I joined members of the executive committee of Florida Tech’s Board of Trustees to hear and review a proposal by the Friends of FIT Rowing Association to reinstate rowing as a varsity sport. The committee and I have carefully considered this proposal and its many merits, but we have decided not to reverse the decision.

Our task was to consider rowing and the other transitioning programs in the context of the university’s broader athletics strategy. We firmly believe our decision is what is best for the university and our capacity to be competitive in the 11 athletics programs participating in the Sunshine State Conference.

A common misconception is that club sports do not offer high-quality competitive experiences. On the contrary, well-resourced and actively supported clubs have the opportunity to participate in many competitive events. With the right planning and preparation, our club rowing team could continue to participate in the lauded Dad Vail Regatta, for example.

I know firsthand that a club sport experience can rival a varsity experience. As an undergraduate student at Trinity College many years ago, I was a varsity soccer player on a nationally ranked team. Two years later, I served as coach for the club men’s soccer team at Vanderbilt University. What we experienced at Vanderbilt matched nearly everything I enjoyed during my time as a varsity athlete at Trinity. The fun, the friendships and the fierce competition—it was all there.

I believe that any student who loves rowing and wants to do so at Florida Tech should stay the course and give the club experience a chance. Those of you with athletics scholarships will retain them. Your coaches and alumni groups have been invited to assist with the transition and will receive university support if they choose to do so. The relationships you’ve built with your teammates will continue now and long into the future. You have the support of the university, many passionate alumni and your new president.

Club rowing may not be the same as varsity rowing, but it can be just as exciting and enjoyable. Let’s make it great together.


Robert King

Monday, June 27, 2022

Dear Florida Tech community,

The full Board of Trustees convened Friday, June 24, and had an extremely productive meeting with overwhelmingly positive implications for the trajectory of the university. In addition to the appointment of Robert L. King as Interim President, several other key initiatives were reviewed or approved. In our continuing efforts to keep everyone informed, we would like to share a few highlights.

First, the Board was pleased to see that Fall 2022 enrollment projections are excellent and may surpass previous incoming undergraduate classes. Undergraduate applications broke the 14,000 mark, which greatly exceeds all historical markers. This is a 33% increase over last year’s previous record. The number of admitted students is also at a record high. As of today, we are on track to seat the largest incoming class in the history of Florida Tech, with half of the paid deposit students so far showing a 1200 SAT score or better and a minimum 4.0 GPA.

Meanwhile, other key indicators that demonstrate academic health and that are important for rankings are also positive. Our six-year graduation rate has increased from 60% to 66% and retention has remained steady at 82%.

Financially, the university is quite sound and the Board approved a FY23 budget that will provide for continued support for a wide range of priority needs, including facilities. This budget also includes monies for faculty and staff compensation adjustments and merit plans.

Regarding facilities and given the high priority that the administration and the Board place on student health and wellness, the Board approved a plan to fast-track the renovation of University Plaza on Babcock Street to provide for a much-needed wellness center. This approach replaces the previous plan to build a stand-alone health and wellness center, increasing the speed at which the facility can be opened and permitting construction money to be better invested in health center support staff and resources.

The university has begun the process of reviewing campus infrastructure for utilization, maintenance condition, and potential future needs as the first step toward developing a campus master infrastructure plan. The objective is to better ensure we are efficiently utilizing our available infrastructure while also understanding what actions will be required to ensure we have the right infrastructure in place to support our overall mission and vision. In alignment with this initiative, the Board approved the university to proceed with the sale of the underutilized River’s Edge property in Palm Bay with proceeds directed to support primary campus capital improvements.

Trustees also had an opportunity to tour the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID) and see first-hand how it is maturing into an unparalleled resource for our students, faculty, and the surrounding Space Coast community. The Board approved CAMID’s plans to continue working closely with industry and other important partners.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly for the direction of the institution, the Board accepted the overview and update regarding the Shaping Our Future strategic plan, continuing through 2025. With its themes of focus, efficiency, stability, and brand, there will be much more discussion of the plan when everyone returns in August. We are pleased with the direction. More information is available here.

We want to thank the entire university community for their continued partnership and commitment to excellence. Florida Tech’s future is bright, and it is exciting for us all to anticipate the days ahead.


Travis Proctor, Chair
Board of Trustees

Marco Carvalho, Ph.D.
Acting President

King Appointed Interim President

Friday, June 24, 2022

Dear Florida Tech community,

As announced in April, the Board of Trustees has decided to engage an external Interim President to work with the Board and our existing leadership team to ensure continuity in operations and to maintain positive momentum while the national search is conducted for our next permanent President. I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Robert L. King to the post of Interim President. He is expected to arrive on campus the week of July 11, 2022.

As the Florida Tech community embarks on the search process for our next permanent President, it presents us with a natural inflection point. These coming months provide us with an opportunity to engage with the university community and stakeholders to better understand what we are doing well, what opportunities might exist for improvement, and to identify the potential requirements and qualities that will be important in our next President. Our next leader will be charged with advancing our vision and fostering a culture that is inclusive, empowering, and embraces collaboration, accountability, and a commitment to excellence. Working together, Florida Tech will realize its incredible potential, achieve mission objectives, and continue to increase its national and international recognition for educating some of the brightest minds of tomorrow.

Mr. King is uniquely qualified to lead Florida Tech during this transition period given his broad experience in higher education. He led one of the nation’s largest higher education systems as the Chancellor of The State University of New York where he also served as Interim President of The State University of New York, College at Potsdam. He was President and CEO of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education overseeing Kentucky’s state universities and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Mr. King has a strong background in policy having served three terms in the New York State Legislature, nine years on the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, and nearly two years as the U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education. He has spent time in the classroom as an instructor at St. John Fisher College and served as a Board of Trustee member for nine years for A.T. Still University, a private medical school. His awards include the Friend of the Faculty Senate Award, presented by the SUNY Faculty Senate in 2005. He was appointed to the rank of University Professor by the SUNY Board of Trustees. Mr. King holds his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College.

I believe Mr. King is the right leader for this transitional period at Florida Tech. He understands what is required to ensure we execute our primary mission to provide our students with an exceptional education while also bringing the kind of perspective and broad experience in higher education that will be invaluable as we evaluate our needs and expectations for the next permanent President. The Board welcomes the opportunity to leverage his diverse experience and interactions with many different institutions and senior leaders in higher education across the nation as we chart our forward course.

You will find the university’s news release announcing Mr. King’s appointment here. .

Meanwhile, the Board has engaged the professional services of AGB Search to facilitate the search for our next permanent President. The firm has led over 1,000 searches for senior higher education executives with a 98% success rate including such institutions as Cornell, University of Central Florida, Florida State, Arizona State, Texas Tech University, Flagler College, and Barry University. This process will officially kick off in late August as faculty and students return to campus.

As the search begins, we will engage faculty, staff, students, parents, alumni, and other community stakeholders. We will also host a number of “listening sessions” that will provide opportunities for university stakeholders to provide their input and thoughts on what will be important considerations for our next President.

More specific details on the timeline, process, and how those interested can engage in the “listening sessions” will be provided in August as AGB Search officially launches.

I will keep you advised as our search for a permanent president continues. Meanwhile, please join me in welcoming Mr. King to campus. Thank you for your continued support and partnership.


Travis Proctor, Chair
Board of Trustees



“I am honored by the confidence the board has shown by selecting me to serve as Florida Tech's interim president. I am excited to help lead the transition to a new permanent chief executive. Everything I have learned about the university, its faculty and students, its board, and the community of Melbourne all represent a long-standing commitment to excellence. It is a commitment I intend to preserve, and hopefully enhance during my time at this superb university.” 

—Robert L. King, J.D.
Interim President

Robert L. King, J.D.

June 17, 2022

Dear Florida Tech community,

One of the things that our university does well is provide connection between the campus and the community to share expertise and foster discussion on topics that intersect with our educational and research missions. I’m pleased that another example of this will be illustrated next week, as Florida Tech hosts Lagoon Straight Talk. This free event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 23, in the Gleason Performing Arts Center.

Among the speakers will be Dr. Jeff Eble, research assistant professor in the Department of Ocean Engineering and Marine Sciences. He will highlight how Florida Tech is exploring new ways of improving Indian River Lagoon water quality through the Restore Lagoon Inflow project. You will recall I shared with you last week that Florida Tech was awarded $921,500 by the state to continue important lagoon research. Other speakers at this public event will include Vinnie Taranto, chair of the Save Our Indian River Lagoon Citizens Oversight Committee, and Dr. Duane De Freese, executive director of the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Project and a Florida Tech alumnus. The evening concludes with a 60-minute question-and-answer session.

Lagoon Straight Talk is sponsored by the Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition and guests are asked to register in advance here.

It remains our privilege to partner with the community and the state on such important issues as the health of the Indian River Lagoon. Working together, science can help find solutions to address the most daunting of challenges.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge Juneteenth, the U.S. federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans traditionally honored on June 19. My best wishes to all as we celebrate and reflect on this important moment in our shared history.

Please enjoy your weekend.


Marco Carvalho, Ph.D.
Acting President

June 10, 2022

Dear Florida Tech community,

Success requires partnership and collaboration. I am pleased that your university enjoys significant support from local and state leaders to meet our ongoing mission of STEM education and research.

As we recently announced, Florida Tech received nearly $3 million in state funding through the state legislature, approved by Gov. DeSantis. This included $2 million for our Biomedical Aerospace Manufacturing (BAM) specialized equipment project and $921,500 for the Restore Lagoon Inflow (RLI) project. We deeply appreciate the critical support offered by our state legislative delegation as well as Gov. DeSantis.

For our faculty and students to conduct their work, proper tools are needed. BAM will help secure equipment for our new Gordon L. Nelson Health Sciences building and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID), supporting biomedical, aerospace, and manufacturing areas. This strengthens the core of our STEM educational focus.

Meanwhile, our ongoing Indian River Lagoon research is at a critical phase. Solutions to restoring and maintaining the health of this important ecosystem require a skilled combination of creativity and innovation, rooted in scientific practice and evidence. Our respected Florida Tech team of researchers is well suited to this challenge.

With strong partnership like this supporting our efforts, there is little our university’s talented people cannot accomplish. Teamwork remains vital to our success.

Have a great weekend.


Marco Carvalho, Ph.D.
Acting President

June 3, 2022

Dear Florida Tech community,

I’m excited to share information regarding the significant activities under way at our Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID) in Palm Bay. CAMID is maturing into an unparalleled resource for our students, faculty, and the surrounding Space Coast community.

First, we have expanded our relationship with Larsen Motorsports, located at CAMID. The partnership fosters workforce development geared toward local industries; includes projects at both CAMID and Larsen to advance academia, industry, and motorsports; and features workshops on an assortment of topics for high school and college students as well as industry professionals.

I’m particularly proud of CAMID’s expanding K-12 outreach, enlivening STEM education for young people who may one day become Florida Tech students. From supporting local robotics teams to offering hands-on technology workshops, the opportunities are growing. Cultivating imagination and ingenuity among these students can form a strong foundation for their educational futures.

The vision for CAMID includes formalizing mutually beneficial relationships with industry partners, combining business accelerator and innovative laboratory space for manufacturers of all sizes. We’re well on our way to creating a unique ecosystem designed to spark success. The resources and the plans are in place promising a dynamic year ahead for CAMID.

My thanks to CAMID Director Dr. Juan C. Avendano, our STEM Outreach Manager Jared Campbell, and the entire team that is making this possible. If you have a few minutes, I encourage you to check out the Make it Yourself CAMID podcast for a glimpse into the center’s important outreach.

Meanwhile, Florida Tech continues to monitor the tropical weather system anticipated to bring us gusty wind and some rain through the weekend. Please stay safe and plan your activities accordingly.


Marco Carvalho, Ph.D.
Acting President

May 27, 2022
Dear Florida Tech community,
I am happy to report that summer classes are proceeding very well. Enrollment is strong and while students are receiving excellent educational opportunities, our faculty are doing their usual great job of balancing insightful teaching and important research. Indeed, one of the most impactful features of our university is the research conducted by our faculty. This week, I’d like to share just three examples of the amazing work that is answering pressing questions related to our oceans.
Can we improve upon the seasonal prediction of tropical cyclones? Pallav Ray, a meteorologist and associate professor in ocean engineering and marine sciences, just co-authored an article published in the Nature journal npj Climate and Atmospheric Science on this important topic. Studying climate phenomena associated with the Bay of Bengal can potentially help all the peoples of the Indian subcontinent.
How can coral reefs persist through global climate change? Multinational networks of ocean sanctuaries may be one answer. Research led by Rob van Woesik, professor and director of the Institute for Global Ecology, and post-doctoral fellow Tom Shlesinger, resulted in a recent article in Global Change Biology.
In this age of ever-increasing fuel costs, what about lowering fuel use for military and commercial ships through innovative biofouling control methods? Researchers including Geoffrey Swain, Melissa Tribou, and Kelli Hunsucker tackled this topic in an article published earlier this spring in Frontiers in Marine Science that covers many years of research.
Compelling curiosity leading to fascinating findings—this is simply a sampling of the discovery led by our faculty across a range of disciplines. They make us all proud.
This is a very special weekend for our nation, as we pause to honor and remember the sacrifices of our military service members. I wish you a beautiful Memorial Day weekend with family and friends.
Marco Carvalho, Ph.D.
Acting President

May 13, 2022

Dear Florida Tech community,

Congratulations to all on a remarkable Spring 2022 Commencement last Saturday. It was an exciting day for graduates and their families that will live on in memories for years to come.

It is important to celebrate success, and this week, I would like to highlight three examples of noteworthy student accomplishments from the Spring Semester. With the support of our excellent faculty, these enterprising individuals make us all proud.

Our chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) competed in 18 events at their 2022 Southeast Student Conference in Tallahassee. They placed fifth overall among 19 universities. A concrete canoe competition, professional paper writing, and dozens of other events tested the students’ skills. Attending were Anuar Kachurin, Vinai Balroop, Alex Bowers, Ian Garvey, Dylan Hall, Stephan Heinrichs, Alyssa McAdams, Gavin Olsen, Paul Ryan, Callie Siering, Cole Stubbe, and Cole Yorio. Kudos to them and to advisor Paul Cosentino.

Florida Tech students designed a device for the early detection and dynamic monitoring of breast cancer and scored the top prize of $10,000 in seed funding at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s annual Launch Your Venture business competition. EarlyByrd, from the team of Bindi Nagda, a third-year Ph.D. applied mathematics major, Nashaita Patrawalla, a first-year Ph.D. biomedical engineering major, Harold Raghunandan, a senior software engineering major, and Lilah Henderson, a second-year master’s student in chemical engineering, competed against five other startups to take highest honors. Well done!

Finally, our students won first place in the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) Spring 2022 Live Case Competition for their business plan involving the Ohio-based pizza restaurant company Donatos. Florida Tech’s team of Daniel Aizenberg, Farran Barker, Joshua Brathwaite, and Nolan DeMayo produced the winning entry. Congratulations to the team and to advisor Tim Muth.

These are just a few of the many accolades I could mention of our faculty and students, and we are proud of all of them. Florida Tech students never fail to impress across a range of disciplines and programs, demonstrating their relentless determination and skill.

Have a great weekend.


Marco Carvalho, Ph.D.
Acting President

May 6, 2022

Dear Florida Tech community,

Tomorrow marks the culmination of the academic year as we celebrate Spring Commencement. It will be an exciting day for graduates and their families and friends. Our faculty and staff will certainly share in the joyous occasion.

Florida Tech will confer 1,253 degrees on Saturday. At the 9:30 a.m. undergraduate ceremony, more than 540 students are set to walk across the stage while at the 2 p.m. graduate ceremony we anticipate more than 365 participants. Our 2022 graduating class includes students from 54 countries and 42 states, a testament to the strength and reputation of our academic programs. It will be a wonderful day for all.

I am also pleased to report that our FITSEC Cybersecurity Team at the L3Harris Institute for Assured Information has placed second out of 3,658 teams at the National Cyber League tournament. Blake Janes led the team to a medal position for the third straight season. The team included Carl Mann, Isaiah Thomas, Tiffanie Petersen, and Ivan Hernandez, who will graduate with Computer Science with Cyber Operations Concentration degrees on Saturday. The team also included Logan Suarez and Nick Falco. Meanwhile, FITSEC had two other teams place #19 and #26 in the competition. Please join me in congratulating faculty advisor Dr. TJ O’Connor and the entire team.

The dedication shown by our campus community demonstrates the high level of commitment all of our faculty, staff, and students invest in their futures. That relentlessness remains a trademark of this institution and the foundation of our shared success.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Marco Carvalho, Ph.D.
Acting President

April 29, 2022

Dear Florida Tech community,

I am regularly impressed by the commitment and dedication of our university’s students, faculty, and staff. As we concluded classes this week and all prepare for final exams next week, that commitment to finish well the academic year is evident across campus.

I had the pleasure of attending an excellent presentation by Florida Tech students Tuesday at our Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID) facilities in Palm Bay. These students are interning with our partners at Larsen Motorsports, developing the next generation of jet dragster. Through collaboration with outstanding partners like Northrop Grumman and Siemens, our students are utilizing digital twins for the design and manufacture of the next generation of jet dragsters, expanding their knowledge and honing their technical skills. I applaud their success and outstanding work.

I would also like to take a moment to thank our dedicated Residence Life student staff for the care and concern they bring to their jobs, supporting students living in our residence halls. We have 68 residence directors and assistants whose responsibilities are often a round-the-clock commitment. We congratulate the 27 staffers who will graduate next weekend—nine graduate students and 18 undergraduates—and commend them for helping to make our campus a welcoming home away from home.

Finally, we look forward to tonight’s presentation in the Gleason Performing Arts Center by retired U.S. Army four-star general Stanley McChrystal, who will address “Understanding Risk and Mastering the Unknown.” Our F. Alan Smith Distinguished Lecture Series regularly brings stellar speakers to campus to share their experiences and knowledge, and this evening’s presentation promises to be illuminating.

Please enjoy your weekend as we all prepare to conclude the academic year next week.


Marco Carvalho, Ph.D.
Acting President

April 22, 2022

It has been another excellent week. Our students, faculty, and staff demonstrate every day what a special university we share.

Today marks Earth Day, the annual recognition highlighting the importance of protecting our planet’s environment. I believe every day is Earth Day at Florida Tech, as our university community remains keenly focused on better understanding and nurturing our natural world, from the Indian River Lagoon, Antarctica, and coral reefs to the heavens above. Research, education, and understanding build the foundation of positive change.

Also today, we hosted one of the highlights of the academic year—our Northrop Grumman Engineering and Science Student Design Showcase. The Clemente Center was filled with nearly 100 inventions, posters, and assemblies representing the ingenuity and creativity of our Florida Tech students. With the support of our faculty and the partnership of the business community, the event was another great success. The showcase annually shines the spotlight on the significance of a STEM education and the value of hands-on learning. Congratulations to all.

Looking ahead, it promises to be a busy end to the spring semester. Next Friday, April 29, we will host Stanley McChrystal, the retired U.S. Army four-star general who led Joint Special Operations Command and later oversaw U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan. Gen. McChrystal will speak at Florida Tech’s F. Alan Smith Distinguished Lecture Series. Then, the culmination of the academic year will be celebrated Saturday, May 7, with Spring Commencement exercises.

I continue to be proud to work with you as we all advance the mission of this great university. Thanks for all you do.


Marco Carvalho, Ph.D.
Acting President

April 20, 2022

Dear Florida Tech community,

The Board of Trustees understands that it has no singular responsibility more important than the selection of the next leader for Florida Tech. We are committed to ensuring that the process is consistent with the principles of equity and inclusion and that faculty, staff, students, alumni, and other university stakeholders have an opportunity to provide input as we identify our selection criteria and evaluate candidates. To assist the university in this important process, the Board will engage a professional search firm to support us in conducting a national search with a goal to have the selected candidate take office on or before the beginning of the 2023-2024 academic year.

I’m excited to share with you next steps in the process:

  • A search committee will be appointed by the end of April and will include Board members and the President of the Faculty Senate.
  • The Board will also form a search advisory committee that it intends will include a majority of members from our various university stakeholder groups including faculty, administration, student government, staff, alumni, community, etc. to provide input and feedback to the search committee throughout the process. This advisory group will play a key role as we conduct “listening sessions,” meet candidates, and work together to bring forward the best candidates to the full Board of Trustees for final selection.
  • The full Board will vote to select the next President.

It is anticipated that this process may take up to a year. In the interim, the Board has decided to appoint an external Interim President to work with our existing leadership team to ensure continuity in operations and to maintain positive momentum of our great university. Candidates for this external Interim President will be identified by the search committee. The full Board will vet these external interim candidates and will make this temporary appointment. The external Interim President will not be eligible to apply for the permanent role of President and will serve only in the interim capacity until the permanent presidential candidate takes office. The Board intends to have the external Interim President take office no later than June 30, 2022.

We are grateful to Acting President Dr. Carvalho, CFO Mr. Jones, and Board liaison Dr. Gronfeldt for taking on the additional responsibilities to ensure continuity of university operations during this transitional period by serving in the Office of the President. They will continue to serve in this capacity until the Interim President takes office, and we thank you all for supporting their efforts.

The Board wishes the university community a successful end of the semester and looks forward to engaging with many of you as these important processes move forward.


Travis Proctor
Florida Tech Board Chairman

April 15, 2022

Dear Florida Tech community,

I am pleased to report that our Spring Semester 2022 is nearing a successful conclusion. Many thanks to everyone for their effort and energy as we reach the end of the academic year.

Spring Honors Convocation was held Thursday to celebrate the achievements of our students and faculty and their commitment to academic and professional excellence. We presented 380 student awards, including distinguished scholars, outstanding student of the year, and student excellence awards. Five Florida Tech faculty were honored for excellence in service, research, and teaching, including the Faculty Senate’s excellence awards and Student Government Association’s Professor of the Year Award. There were more than 400 attendees at the Gleason Performing Arts Center including students, families, faculty, and staff.

Meanwhile, the FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation—of which Florida Tech has been a core member for more than a decade—had its final meeting this week at our Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Innovative Design (CAMID). The lifetimes of FAA centers of excellence of this type are legislated at 10 years, and it has been a worthwhile opportunity for collaboration over that period. Next, we look forward to the annual Northrop Grumman Engineering and Science Student Design Showcase in the Clemente Center Friday, April 22. It will be an excellent exhibition of our student research.

In terms Florida Tech’s leadership transition, the Board of Trustees is now finalizing the details of the search committees and timelines for the Presidential search. The Chairman of the Board will issue an update to our campus community in the next few days, and I will continue to keep you updated as additional information surrounding the transition process becomes available.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend. Thank you for your continued teamwork.


Marco Carvalho, Ph.D.
Acting President

April 1, 2022

Dear Florida Tech community,

First, thank you for the good wishes and notes of support that you have shared with the university as Dr. McCay has announced his retirement. Your care and concern are deeply felt. Thank you also for the positive comments that you have made regarding our leadership transition process as we plan our next steps into Florida Tech’s bright future. Your teamwork and partnership will remain key.

Our Office of the President transitional leadership team is committed to fostering and supporting a positive environment during this transitional time that will continue to allow all members of the university community to do what they do best. Our hardworking students and dedicated faculty and staff achieve great things every day, and we have no doubt that will continue.

As the Board of Trustees leads the presidential search process and next steps are planned, please know that we will keep you closely updated with regular news and information. Answering your questions and welcoming your feedback are integral to the process.

Again, thank you for doing what you do—and doing it so well. We look forward to what’s next.


Marco Carvalho, Ph.D.
Acting President

March 25, 2022

Dear Florida Tech community:

We are writing to share important news regarding a change in leadership at Florida Tech.

Earlier today President Dwayne McCay informed the Board of Trustees of his decision to retire as president for personal reasons at the conclusion of the 2022 fiscal year. The Board has accepted his resignation and has granted his request for immediate personal leave for the remainder of the fiscal year to spend time with his family.

We thank President McCay and his wife, Mary Helen, for their many years of service to the university, and we wish them the best in their future endeavors. We are especially grateful for President McCay’s leadership during the pandemic, and, in particular, his ability to keep our community informed, focused, and united during uncertain times.

The Board of Trustees has authorized the creation of the “Office of the President” effective immediately lead by Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Marco Carvalho, and Sr. Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Mike Jones. Under the authority of this office, Dr. Carvalho will serve as acting president. This group will work in partnership to ensure continuity of university management and governance during this transitional time.

The Board commits its utmost confidence in this experienced leadership team as they work together to oversee university operations. Additionally, current Board of Trustees academic chair, Dr. Svafa Gronfeldt, will serve as Board liaison in the Office of the President further ensuring this leadership team will have the full support of the Board of Trustees as they lead the university.

The Board of Trustees will soon begin a formal and thorough search process for the next president. More information will be forthcoming, but we expect that search to be led by a special board-appointed search committee.

While we understand that transitions like these can be difficult, these changes do not impact our university’s unwavering commitment to our diverse community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni and their relentless pursuit of greatness. We remain dedicated to advancing our mission and ensuring that Florida Tech continues to be a university of distinction, quality, and value – one that is internationally recognized for excellence in science and technology, both now and in the future.


Travis Proctor
Board Chair
Florida Institute of Technology

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