Five Questions with Dr. Nicklow: A Video Series Featuring Our Next President

Question #5: How do you describe your leadership style?

Florida Tech: How do you describe your leadership style?

President Nicklow: Well, I strive to be entrepreneurial and empathetic, and rather than transactional, I work hard to be a transformational force focused on outcomes and impact.

Others would probably also say that I am student-centric — that in every decision, I always first ask how it will impact students and their success; and that I’m collaborative and rely on open and honest communication.

I work to ensure constituent voices are heard when making important decisions so that we can all be vested in those decisions as we move forward. That’s the best way to ensure that everyone can be truly proud of our shared, bright future.


Question #4: What are your views on trust and teamwork?

Florida Tech: What are your views on trust and teamwork?

President Nicklow: Trust is a necessary foundation upon which we build lasting relationships, with each other and with alumni and partners.

It means we openly and honestly communicate with and respect one another, and it’s an essential aspect of teamwork.

Through all of my experiences, from my time as a student athlete and throughout my career, I’ve learned that a leader without a team is going nowhere; it’s the team that gives motion and substance to our progress.

It’s why I work hard to be inclusive of all team members, investing to empower, inspire, and support them, seeking ways to build upon each team member’s strengths. I’m so excited to work with the Florida Tech team of students, faculty, staff and alumni!


Question #3: What are your priorities for Florida Tech?

Florida Tech: What are your priorities for Florida Tech?

President Nicklow: My priorities are to enhance the visibility of Florida Tech even further by telling the university’s impressive story wherever and whenever I can.

We need to make sure that Florida Tech is increasingly a place where students want to be by ensuring that they have the best college experience possible.

That requires making certain our faculty are supported as they engage in unique research experiences and explore innovative teaching methods. It also means establishing additional partnerships with business and industry that benefit Florida Tech and its students.

All of this will help us meaningfully connect with Florida Tech’s growing alumni base, as we inspire in them a rising sense of pride in their alma mater.


Question #2: What is your vision for Florida Tech?

Florida Tech: What is your vision for Florida Tech?

President Nicklow: I believe Florida Tech is at an inflection point, and that presents a wonderful opportunity for the university.

My vision is to make Florida Tech the top choice for students interested in STEM fields from all over the state, nation, and world. To achieve that, we must continue Florida Tech’s excellent academic and research prowess and attract top faculty and staff. This will also help us become the preferred partner for businesses, industry, and government. We can accomplish these things while also cultivating a deep sense of pride and a culture of giving among our alumni.

Those are the broad strokes of a vision, but how we do all that is something we will determine together as a team and as a community. It will be crucial for every Florida Tech stakeholder to join with me in helping to define the specifics of that shared vision.

I’m excited about the opportunity to listen and to learn, understanding individual values and hearing individual perspectives. I’m really looking forward to the collaboration and teamwork required to elevate the university and our impact. 


Question #1: What are your first impressions of Florida Tech?

Florida Tech: What are your first impressions of Florida Tech?

President Nicklow: In some ways, my first impressions were formed years ago. I've long known of Florida Tech's legacy and stellar reputation as a leading national STEM institution. That legacy has always been appealing to me as an engineer.

Florida Tech was born of the space industry and that connection is also very exciting to me, like so many kids born after the moon landing.

Most universities will tell you the sky's the limit, but at Florida Tech we know the sky is not the limit. It's actually only the beginning.

Ask any of Florida Tech's rocket scientists, mathematicians, engineers or astronauts, if you doubt that.

And though I've long been impressed by Florida Tech's reputation, during my recent visit, I realized that the people of this institution are even more impressive. The talent, the dedication, the strong sense of community, the campus pride, it's really palpable.

I also recognize the campus' student-centric focus, its commitment to meaningful research, and the partnership opportunities with business, industry, alumni, and more across the Space Coast, the state and well beyond.

Those areas of focus align perfectly with my passions and my interests, and I look forward to building on that 65 year legacy to have even greater impact.


Hello, Panthers: Dr. Nicklow's First Message to the Florida Tech Community

Hello, Panthers!

My name is John Nicklow, and I am both humbled and proud to serve as your next president. My wife, Stacy, and I are excited to become part of your community and part of Florida Tech’s future.

I want to take a moment to thank the Board of Trustees for giving me this opportunity and to thank the search committee members for their diligence throughout the search process. I also want to thank the Florida Tech community—faculty, staff, students, alumni, and partners—for being engaged in the search. The fact that you were so engaged demonstrates to me that you are truly invested in this amazing institution. I hope you will maintain that level of engagement as we move forward—together —to realize the vibrant future that I know is within our grasp. Working together, we’ll ensure that Florida Tech is all that it can and should be.

Stacy and I look forward to connecting with each of you. I will obviously have a learning curve, but one thing I already know about this university: It’s the people who make Florida Tech special and it’s the people who will propel it to new heights of success.

To our students: I’m anxious to get to know you and support you on your educational journey. It’s you, and the work we do supporting you, that drives me each and every day. That’s where my passion lies—in helping you achieve your educational goals.

To our talented and dedicated faculty and staff: We’ll soon be partners in making sure the experience we provide students is transformational and unequaled. I’m anxious to roll up my sleeves and work alongside you to make sure that we’re meeting that challenge, together.

To our alumni and partners: I look forward to connecting with you, wherever you are. Your support is vital to our future and our success, and I hope you’ll share your Panther Pride far and wide. Thank you for being our best ambassadors around the world.

Florida Tech is a university with a proud past and a very bright future. Together, we will accomplish great things, and Stacy and I cannot wait to get started. So, until we meet in person, thank you. We are privileged to join the Florida Tech family. See you soon and go Panthers!


John Nicklow, Ph.D.