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Florida Polytechnic University's president is stepping down

A nighttime view of a glass dome in front of a lake.
WUSF Public Media
A nighttime view of Florida Polytechnic University.

Randy K. Avent, the only president in the university's history, will leave the position at the end of the 2023-24 academic year.

Florida Polytechnic University's president is stepping down.

Randy K. Avent will leave the position at the end of the 2023-24 academic year, according to a news release from the university. He has led the Lakeland school since it opened its doors in 2014.

“Leading the University from its infancy to the strong campus we have today has been the privilege of my lifetime,” Avent said in the release. “I never imagined that I would be able to help establish a brand-new STEM university and mold the way it would serve students, industry, and the entire state.”

Avent will take a brief sabbatical and return as a faculty member, according to the release.

During his tenure, the all-STEM institution received regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in 2017.

Cliff Otto, Florida Poly’s Board of Trustees chair, said in the release that Avent was the right person to lead the school.

“Randy has always shown a true commitment to making sure Florida Poly delivers a top-quality core STEM education, while becoming an essential economic engine by attracting high-tech industry and growth to the state,” Otto said.

The Board of Trustees will soon begin a national search for the school’s next president, according to the release. The candidate must then be confirmed by the Florida Board of Governors.