On Wednesday, the Florida Board of Governors confirmed Dr. Kenneth Jessell to be the president of Florida International University (FIU).
The FIU Board of Trustees approved Jessell as president-designate last month.
Jessell, a professor of finance in the College of Business Administration at FIU, is no stranger to the university and he served more than a dozen years there as senior vice president for finance and administration and as CFO. He was named interim president at the start of the year.
Before serving at FIU, Jessell worked at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) for more than a quarter century.
“Today’s decision by the Florida Board of Governors to confirm me as the sixth President of FIU is, in many ways, a dream come true,” Jessell announced on Wednesday. “My connection with the State University System spans almost a half-century, beginning with my freshman year at Florida State University and culminating as the humbled and honored leader of this great university we all call home.
“As a first-generation college student in the mid-1970s, it never occurred to me that I would eventually attend graduate school to become a college professor, much less become a university president. Yet here I am, full of optimism and Panther pride focused and energized to get to work and collaborate with you as we usher FIU to new heights,” he added. “My story, and the story of so many of you, embodies the power of our State University System and our state’s public universities – we transform lives and provide opportunities for students to realize their full potential. Here we open doors to dreams never thought possible. Back in 1983, as a new professor at Florida Atlantic University, I made a commitment to educate students, conduct research, and serve both my profession and my community.
“Now, as your president, I am more committed than ever before to these guiding principles and responsibilities, focused specifically on student success, research excellence, sustainable resources, and affinity and engagement,” Jessell continued. “As we look ahead to the next 50 at FIU, I invite you to join me on our path toward Top 50, focused on providing a world-class education that prepares our students for great careers and meaningful community impact. Together, we will ensure FIU is at the epicenter of developing innovative solutions to the complex problems of our day, as well as a major driver of workforce development and economic growth.
“FIU is on the rise and, together, we will continue to push boundaries, exceed expectations, and affect change in our community and around the world,” he concluded.
FIU Board of Trustees Chair Dean Colson praised Jessell on Wednesday.
“President Jessell is the leader that FIU needs during this pivotal moment for our institution. He is smart, strategic, visionary, and so proud to be a Panther,” Colson noted. “During his 13-year career at FIU, President Jessell has been instrumental in supporting the growth of FIU’s academic and research excellence, and I am confident that he will maintain our current momentum and continue to advance FIU’s excellence in research, scholarship, and teaching.”
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