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Florida Polytechnic University chooses Dr. G. Devin Stephenson as its next president

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Florida Polytechnic University
The Florida Polytechnic University Board of Trustees announced on Monday, April 15 the selection of Dr. G. Devin Stephenson as the next president of the STEM institution.

Stephenson is currently the president of Northwest Florida State College. If his selection is approved by the Board of Governors, he will become Florida Poly's second president.

Florida Polytechnic University has chosen Dr. G. Devin Stephenson as the second president in the school's history.

The university's Board of Trustees chose Stephenson from among five finalists during a public meeting, according to a Monday news release.

Stephenson is currently the president of Northwest Florida State College in Niceville.

“As chair of the Board of Trustees, I’m proud to announce the successful culmination of our presidential search," said Cliff Otto, Florida Poly Board of Trustees chair. "Through diligent effort and collaborative engagement, we have identified Dr. G. Devin Stephenson as the candidate who best embodies Florida Poly’s vision and values.”

“His exceptional qualifications, unwavering dedication to education, and visionary leadership make him the perfect fit for our institution. I’m confident that under Stephenson’s guidance, Florida Poly will continue to thrive, empowering students in STEM disciplines and shaping a promising future for generations to come.”

Stephenson replaces Randy K. Avent, who will leave the position at the end of the 2023-24 academic year. He has led the Lakeland school since it opened its doors in 2014.

It was previously announced that Avent will take a brief sabbatical and return as a faculty member.

According to the release, Stephenson held president and CEO positions at colleges in Alabama, Missouri and Kentucky for more than 15 years.

Stephenson also holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Alabama.

Stephenson was chosen among four other finalists:

  • Keith Moo-Young, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.
  • David P. Norton, the vice president for research at the University of Florida. He’s also a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
  • Daniel W. O'Sullivan, vice provost and a professor of chemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy.
  • Bjong Wolf Yeigh, professor of engineering at the University of Washington Bothell. He was the university’s third chancellor from 2013 to 2021.

University officials say they will begin contract negotiations with Stephenson before the contract and his selection as president go before the state's Board of Governors meeting either on May 8 or June 27.
WUSF staff writer Gabriella Pinos contributed to this report.

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