Florida Poly President search is down to 5 finalists
Image via Florida Polytechnic University.

Florida Poly President search
'Selecting the next president is one of the most critical roles we have as a board and I’m confident we will find the right candidate to lead Florida Poly into its next decade.'

Florida Polytechnic University’s Presidential Search Committee has winnowed its list of candidates to five finalists, which will be sent to the school’s Board of Trustees for consideration.

The finalists include H. Keith Moo-Young, who currently serves as the vice provost and dean of undergraduate education at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York; David P. Norton, the current vice president for research and president of the University of Florida’s Research Foundation; U.S. Naval Academy Vice Provost and chemistry professor Daniel W. O’Sullivan; Northwest Florida State College President G. Devin Stephenson; and University of Washington, Bothell professor of engineering and former Chancellor Bjong Wolf Yeigh.

“Our search committee thoroughly reviewed, vetted, and interviewed a vast pool of exceptionally qualified candidates to identify and recommend these finalists,” said Beth Kigel, Vice Chair of the Florida Poly Board of Trustees and chair of the Presidential Search Committee.

“I extend my gratitude to the members of the search committee for their time and commitment to ensuring a successful process and to the candidates engaged in the application and interview process for their enthusiasm and desire to help shape the future of Florida Poly.”

The committee voted on the slate of finalists on Friday, but announced its selection Monday.

Next, each candidate will sit for in-person interviews with the Board of Trustees and participate in campus forums with stakeholders, including students, faculty and staff at the university. Florida Poly will announce the schedule of interviews and forums in the coming days on the presidential search website.

“I appreciate the hard work and effort made by the Presidential Search Committee to see the process through to this point. They have identified exceptionally qualified candidates, and the board and I are looking forward to the next phase of this important endeavor.” said Cliff Otto, Chair of the Florida Poly Board of Trustees.

“Selecting the next president is one of the most critical roles we have as a board and I’m confident we will find the right candidate to lead Florida Poly into its next decade.”

About the candidates:

— Moo-Young: Prior to his current position at Rensselaer, Moo-Young served as chancellor at Washington State University Tri-Cities, as well as dean of the College of Engineering at California State University. Early in his career, he worked as an associate dean for research and graduate studies at Villanova University in Pennsylvania where he also served as interim dean and was a tenured professor of civil and environmental engineering at Lehigh University, also in Pennsylvania. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES), and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). He is also a member of the National Advisory Board of Great Minds in STEM.

— Norton: Norton has served in his current role at the University of Florida (UF) since 2012 where he oversees a research enterprise of $1.25 billion per year. Prior to that role, he was an associate dean for research in the UF College of Engineering and a faculty member in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He joined UF in 2000. Prior to UF, Norton worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for 11 years. He has published more than 370 journal articles with more than 17,000 citations. Norton is an inventor with 10 patents. He’s a fellow of the American Vacuum Society, the American Physical Society, the National Academy of Inventors, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also a member of the Materials Research Society and the Electrochemical Society.

— O’Sullivan: Prior to his current role as vice provost, O’Sullivan served as chair of the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee, vice president of the Faculty Senate, chair of the Chemistry Department and senior professor in the Division of Mathematics and Science. He became vice academic dean in 2017. O’Sullivan is an associate editor for the journal “Marine Chemistry” and has published numerous research articles. He has been recognized for his research contributions with two NASA Group Achievement Awards, and the USNA Civilian Faculty Research Excellence Award. His service contributions have been recognized with a U.S. Navy Civilian Meritorious Service Award. He has been the Principal Investigator or co-PI on external research funding from the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, and the Office of Naval Research.

— Stephenson: Stephenson, prior to his work with Northwest Florida State College, served in community college executive administration roles as president and/or CEO positions for more than 15 years in Alabama, Missouri and Kentucky. Stephenson served on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees, chaired the SACSCOC Compliance and Reports Committee, and currently serves as a visiting committee chair. He currently serves as Florida’s representative on the Executive Council of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Executive Council, and was appointed in 2022. Stephenson is a noted speaker on leadership, organizational change, and professional and personal development. In 2022, he was awarded the Phi Theta Kappa Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction. In 2023, The University of Alabama College of Education honored him with their Harold Bishop Alumni Leadership Award. During Stephenson’s tenure at Northwest Florida State College, the Foundation’s assets have increased to over $63 million, grant acquisitions have surpassed $66 million, and enhanced legislative appropriations have exceeded $40 million.

— Yeigh: Under Yeigh’s leadership at the University of Washington, Bothell, the school expanded it academic programs, doubled student enrollment and grew philanthropic support for the school. Prior to his work there, Yeigh served as president of the State University of New York Institute of Technology. He was also vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Norwich University in Vermont. He previously served as engineering dean at Saint Louis University and was an assistant provost for science and technology at Yale. Yeigh is an elected 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.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected].


  • PeterH

    March 25, 2024 at 1:39 pm

    Moo-Young is well known and well respected in STEM research and development. I’m unfamiliar with the other candidates.

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 25, 2024 at 1:56 pm

    Advice to finalists that might be out of town and not realize what’s valued by the state

    Every question asked of you, give a very brief answer that addresses the question, but segue ASAP into Jesus shit and how you hate that women have to be allowed in your STEM school

  • Anne Akada

    March 25, 2024 at 3:34 pm

    It is a relief not to see any political cronyism occurring (so far) in this search.

  • tom palmer

    March 28, 2024 at 6:15 pm

    I thought this was all supposed to be secret to keep the pesky public from knowing anything about university hiring

Comments are closed.


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