Florida Polytechnic University‘s admissions campaign slogan is BE THE NEXT and today they gave Dr. Randy Avent an end to that statement – BE THE NEXT University President.
Florida Polytechnic University’s Presidential Search Committee has selected Dr. Randy K. Avent, an accomplished academic leader and current Associate Vice Chancellor of Research Development at North Carolina State University (NC State), to be the University’s first president.
The committee approved Dr. Avent’s appointment as president at a public meeting this morning at the Lakeland Center. Avent, 55, is expected to begin as Florida Polytechnic’s president this summer. The University’s Board of Trustees will begin contract negotiations immediately. The final step in the University’s hiring process will be a review for confirmation by the State University System of Florida Board of Governors.
As president, Avent will report directly to the Board of Trustees – serving as the chief executive officer responsible for development and operation of Florida Polytechnic. When the University opens in August 2014, it will emphasize STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs, and offer students real-world problem-solving, work experience, applied research and business leadership opportunities through industry partnerships.
In addition to his role as Associate Vice Chancellor of Research Development at NC State, Dr. Avent is also a professor of Computer Science and is the founding director of the university’s Data Science Institute.
Prior to joining NC State, Avent served as the Chief Scientist in the Office of Basic Research in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering where he oversaw scientific programs and developed strategic plans for future science and technology investments.
From 1986-2009, Dr. Avent worked in a variety of capacities with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratory. Notably, Avent served as the Associate Chief Technology Officer, as the Founding Leader of both the Airborne Communications Laboratory and the Advanced Decision Theory Laboratory, and as the Associate Leader of the Adaptive Beamforming Laboratory. While at MIT, Avent helped to create and execute strategic initiatives that aligned MIT with emerging application- and curiosity-driven research opportunities.
Avent received his B.S. degree in Zoology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He also received an M.S. degree from North Carolina State University in Electrical Engineering, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics. Avent is a graduate of the Boston Executive Program at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.