Randy Avent has a career of turning research into new defense, computer science and life science projects.
Florida Polytechnic's Board of Trustees said they want Avent to inspire future entrepreneurs at the Polk County campus.
Avent was the board's unanimous choice for the university's first president.
"Dr. Avent personifies the innovative, entrepreneurial qualities that we hope to inspire in our future students,” Board of Trustees Chair Rob Gidel said in a statement. “As an institution focused on hands-on learning, we’re proud to welcome Dr. Avent, who has impressive experience and demonstrated commitment to applied research and academics.”
Avent is the associate vice chancellor of research development at North Carolina State University. He's also led research for the Department of Defense and worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Labortory.
Avent will now negotiate a contract with the university, which the Lakeland Ledger reported is expected to come with a salary between $310,750 to $550,000. And the Florida Board of Governors must approve Avent's selection.
Florida's 12th university is scheduled to open in August.