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Olin Quad 2022

Presidential Search

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 has engaged 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.

Presidential Finalist Campus Open Forums

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 open forum schedule is as follows:

  • Monday, February 6: Dr. Wolf Yeigh
  • Wednesday, February 8: Dr. Louis Martin-Vega
  • Friday, February 10: Dr. John Nicklow
  • Monday, February 13: Dr. John Wiencek
  • Friday, February 17: Dr. Jennifer Sinclair Curtis

Presidential Finalist Bios

Dr. Jennifer Sinclair CurtisJennifer Sinclair Curtis is Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and former Dean of Engineering at the University of California, Davis. The engineering college at UC Davis includes over 250 tenure/tenure-track/adjunct faculty, over 4700 undergraduate students, 700 PhD students, and 500 MS students.  Annual college research expenditures exceed $90 million.

Other previous administrative positions include Director of the Florida Energy Systems Consortium, and Department Chair of Chemical Engineering and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Florida.  Her own research focuses on the development and validation of particle flow models that have been extensively adopted by both commercial and open source computational fluid dynamics software packages. She was the first to partner with ANSYS Fluent to greatly expand the multi-phase simulation capability of the code which is used by 96 of the 100 biggest industrial companies in the world and over 40,000 customers.

She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). She is a recipient of a Humboldt Research Award, a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar Award, AIChE’s Particle Technology Forum’s Lifetime Achievement Award, ASEE’s Benjamin Garver Lamme Award, ASEE's Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering Education, and the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award.

She earned her PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University (1989) and her BS in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University (1983) that recognized her as a distinguished engineering alumna. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the National Academies’ Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology and as Vice-Chair of the Foundation Board of Trustees for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Dr. Louis Martin-VegaDr. Martin-Vega is currently Dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, a position he has held since 2006. Ranked 12th among public colleges of engineering, under his leadership the College has grown to more than 11,000 students and 800 faculty and staff with significant growth in its women and minority faculty, student, and staff populations. With more than $200 million in annual research expenditures it has doubled its federal expenditures over the last decade and places regularly among the “top 15” colleges of engineering nationwide in research expenditures. It also has the distinction of being one of only two colleges of engineering to lead two NSF Engineering Research Centers at the same time and one of only two colleges to ever take the lead role in three.  Prior to joining NC State, Dr. Martin-Vega served for five years as Dean of Engineering at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida where his efforts there also resulted in significant growth and expansion of their faculty and student body and research portfolio.

Dr. Martin-Vega has held several prestigious positions at the National Science Foundation (NSF), including Acting Head of its Engineering Directorate and Director of NSF’s Division of Design, Manufacture and Industrial Innovation. His efforts at NSF lead to the creation of the foundation-wide GOALI and RET programs as well as many other initiatives that enhanced industry-university research collaboration and greater inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities in engineering education and research. Additionally, he has served as chairman of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Lehigh University and as Lockheed Professor in the College of Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology. He has also held tenured faculty positions at the University of Florida and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.

Dr. Martin-Vega was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2021. He is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS), the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). Dr. Martin-Vega served as President of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) from 2016-2017 and Chair of ASEE’s Deans Council Executive Board from 2015-2016. He also served as Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Engineering Directorate at NSF and as Vice-Chair of NSF’s Foundation-Wide Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE) from 2016-2019.

Dr. Martin-Vega’s many honors from IISE include receiving the Albert Holzman Distinguished Educator Award, serving as IISE President from 2007-2008, receiving the IISE UPS Award for Minority Advancement, and being given IISE’s highest honor, the Frank and Lillian Gilbreth Industrial Engineering Award in 2012. In 2008 he was recognized as the Outstanding Engineer in North Carolina by the North Carolina Society of Engineers, and in 2009, he received the Industrial and Systems Engineering Alumni Leadership Award from the University of Florida. For his commitment to college education and the promotion of diversity, Martin-Vega was recognized in 2000 with the Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Award (HENACC)  and in 2011 was inducted into the HENACC Hall of Fame. In 2007 he received the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) National Hispanic Scientist Award and in 2014, Hispanic Business magazine named him one of the 50 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S.

Dr. Martin-Vega received his B.S. in Industrial Engineering (magna cum laude) from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, an M.S. in Operations Research from New York University, and M.E. and Ph.D. degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Florida. His research and teaching interests are in manufacturing, production and service systems, sequencing and scheduling, logistics and distribution, work systems, engineering education and broadening participation in engineering. He has published over 100 journal and conference papers, made over 200 keynote, plenary, and conference presentations, and received over $10 million in grants and contract for work in these areas.

Dr. John NicklowDr. John Nicklow serves as President and CEO of the University of New Orleans. Now in his seventh year, his priorities have focused on enrollment growth and student success, strengthening the campus’ research enterprise, and expanding partnerships with alumni, the community, and regional business leaders. Under his leadership, the University has experienced multiple years of enrollment growth, a first in the post-Katrina era, and a near doubling of external research grant and contract expenditures. He has successfully led the first major comprehensive fundraising campaign in the campus’ 65-year history and has overseen major growth of the University’s endowment during his tenure.

President Nicklow has 25 years of higher education experience as a faculty member in engineering and academic administrator, with a proven track record in research, enrollment management, student success initiatives, fundraising, external partnerships, and academic program innovation. He had previously served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Southern Illinois University, as well as earlier administrative appointments including Chief Enrollment Officer and leadership positions in the College of Engineering and Department of Civil Engineering at that institution.  

President Nicklow participates in many local and regional nonprofit and economic development organizations including GNO, Inc., the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council of New Orleans, the New Orleans Business Alliance, the Louisiana Committee of 100, the Rotary Club of New Orleans, and the Board of Directors of Benjamin Franklin High School. He serves as chairman of the Greater New Orleans Higher Education Consortium.

President Nicklow has been widely recognized at the university level, nationally by the American Society of Civil Engineers, and by industry for his teaching and research accomplishments. He currently holds the rank of Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and holds an Endowed Chair in Environmental Modeling, which he uses to support graduate students and a post-doctoral fellowship. His research interests are focused on advancement of STEM education and on optimization of environmental and water resources systems. He has published more than 75 articles and is the author of four books. He is a registered Professional Engineer, a certified Professional Hydrologist, a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers.

A native of western Pennsylvania, President Nicklow earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University. He has been inducted to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, and he is a recent recipient of the NCAA Champion of Diversity Award. He began his career as an Environmental Engineering Officer with the U.S. Public Health Service. He and his wife, Dr. Stacy Nicklow, have one son, Ethan, and reside in New Orleans.

Dr. John WiencekJohn Wiencek (pronounced win-sec) joined The University of Akron (UA) in March 2020 with the start of international remote operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Wiencek serves as the university’s chief academic officer, directly responsible for the general direction of all academic programs, endeavors, and instructional services as well as the university’s academic, outreach and research initiatives. He leads the university’s strategic planning and accreditation effort and helps the president to coordinate the activities of the vice presidents and other members of the executive leadership team. Despite the pandemic’s uncertain and unfavorable financial and operational times, Dr. Wiencek’s decisive and creative actions led to improving institutional effectiveness via college reorganizations and staffing adjustments, and proactively addressing emerging issues by invoking a collaborative team-based approach.

Dr. Wiencek also served in the provost role at his prior two institutions, the University of Idaho and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Starting his academic career in 1989 as an assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering at Rutgers University, Dr. Wiencek went on to chair the chemical and biochemical engineering department at the University of Iowa, receiving significant awards for excellence in teaching, service and research. Wiencek served as dean of engineering for six years at the University of South Florida, substantially increasing research, enrollment, and faculty numbers, before joining VCU in the provost’s office.

Dr. Wiencek earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Cincinnati.  He earned both a master’s and doctoral degree in chemical engineering from Case Western Reserve University.  As a researcher, he focused on protein biophysics with applications to drug formulations, among other research pursuits.

Dr. Wiencek enjoys spending time with his family, is a dedicated runner and enjoys fermenting all sorts of things.

Dr. Wolf YeighSince 2013, Wolf Yeigh has been professor of engineering at the University of Washington, Bothell campus. From 2013 to 2021, he also served as UW Bothell's third chancellor, securing over $300 million in projects, completing the largest campaign of $41 million, and doubling enrollment and campus operations. Prior to joining UW Bothell, Yeigh was professor and president of the State University of New York Institute of Technology from 2008 to 2013 where he secured over $200 million in economic development and institutional grants. Working in partnership with the University at Albany, a $240 million nanotechnology partnership was also secured.

He previously held the position of vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Norwich University, engineering dean at Saint Louis University, and assistant provost for science and technology at Yale University. He was on the engineering faculty at Oklahoma State University.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Yeigh served as a tactical intelligence officer for Fighter Squadron Seventy-Four (VF-74) aboard the USS Saratoga (CV-60) in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. While on active duty, he also completed Strike Lead Attack Training Syllabus (SLATS), Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun), and Navy Electronic Warfare Officer Course.

He holds M.A. and Ph.D. in civil engineering and operations research, and a graduate certificate in science and technology policy from Princeton University; M.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University; A.B. in engineering science from Dartmouth College. He was elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and serves on several national and state boards for engineering, economic development, public policy and education, including the ASME Board of Governors as an elected at-large member.

Leadership Profile

View the Presidential Leadership Profile

Nominations and Referrals

Please send nominations and referrals to FloridaTechPresident@agbsearch.com.

Search Timeline 

  • September - Listening sessions, development of leadership profile 
  • October-November  - Recruitment and candidate engagement 
  • December - Semifinalist interviews 
  • January-March - Finalist interviews and recommendations to Board

Search Committee 

  • Mr. Travis Proctor, Board Chairman and Search Committee Chair
  • Ms. Kirsten Dreggors, Trustee and Search Committee Vice Chair
  • Mr. Dale Dettmer, Trustee
  • Dr. Svafa Gronfeldt, Trustee
  • Dr. Kendall Moore, Trustee
  • Dr. Tolga Turgut, Faculty Senate President
  • Mr. Vik Verma, Trustee

Search Firm Bio

AGB SearchAGB Search offers executive search, interim search, and compensation evaluation services exclusively for higher education institutions. Founded by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) in 2010, we have an unmatched understanding of the qualifications critical for effective higher education leadership. Our affiliation with AGB ensures clients receive access to valued governance resources and training, in addition to our highly-regarded search services.

At AGB Search, we are dedicated to client success. We collaborate with clients to discover each institution’s unique needs, identify exceptional and diverse candidates, and help them find the right leader for their organization.

AGB Search’s Executive Search Consultants have extensive experience in higher education search, and many have served in college and university leadership positions. We have a team of Associates and Research Associates who expertly manage the search and vetting process, and our staff serves as critical support to the search professionals. Our track record provides institutional search teams with the confidence that their search will be successful.

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