October 2, 2023

Higher Ed

Comings and goings: Leadership changes at Florida higher ed institutions

Jason Garcia | 5/24/2017


» On Jan. 1, Martha Saunders became the sixth president of the University of West Florida, succeeding Judith Bense. Saunders began her academic career at UWF in 1984 and had been the university’s provost. She also was chancellor of the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater and president of the University of Southern Mississippi.

» For the third time in his career, Larry Robinson is serving as interim president of Florida A&M University. Robinson, a distinguished professor in the university’s school of environment, assumed the top post after trustees ousted Elmira Mangum. Robinson, a former FAMU provost, served as interim president in 2007 and again from 2012 to 2014.

» Michael Martin, former chancellor of the Colorado State University System, has been chosen as the next president of Florida Gulf Coast University. Martin, who has also been chancellor of Louisiana State University and president of New Mexico State University, will succeed Wilson Bradshaw, FGCU’s president since August 2007, who plans to step down at the end of this month.

» Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, with residential campuses in Daytona Beach and Arizona, named P. Barry Butler president. Butler had been executive vice president at the University of Iowa.

» Chipola College promoted Sarah Clemmons to president. Clemmons, an alumna who joined Chipola in 1979 as an English instructor, had been serving as the college’s interim president since October 2016.

» Devin Stephenson became the fourth president in the 53-year history of Northwest Florida State College. Stephenson, who had been president of Big Sandy Community and Technical College in Prestonsburg, Ky., was chosen to succeed Ty Handy, who left in December 2015 to become president of Jefferson Community and Technical College in Louisville, Ky.

» Warner University, a Christian liberal arts university in Lake Wales, chose David Hoag as president. Hoag, who had been vice president of advancement at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill., succeeds Greg Hall, who had been president for 25 years.


» Former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney plans to retire as president of the University of North Florida once his contract expires in May 2018. He had been president since 2003. The Republican has said he may run for public office again.

» Eileen Holden plans to retire as Polk State College president in July. Holden, the fourth president in Polk State history, was named to the post in 2005.

» Bill Law plans to retire in July after seven years as president of St. Petersburg College. Law previously had been president of Tallahassee Community College.

Tags: Education, Higher Education

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