MIAMI (April 25, 2009) – The Florida International University Board of Trustees today selected Mark B. Rosenberg as the university’s new president. Rosenberg succeeds Modesto A. Maidique, who has led the university for almost 23 years.
“Being named president of FIU is the honor of a lifetime,” said Rosenberg, who first came to FIU in 1976 as a political science professor. “I will work day and night to tell the story of this university and raise the funds necessary to accelerate our momentum as a leading research university.”
After nearly 30 years at FIU, in 2005 Rosenberg left the post of provost to become chancellor of the State University System. Earlier this year, he stepped down from this position and started a sabbatical as a visiting research professor at Vanderbilt University with plans to return to FIU this summer as a member of the faculty. A bilingual Spanish speaker, Rosenberg, 59, specializes in Latin America and is the author or co-author of seven books on the region. He is a member of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.
Rosenberg received his bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Ohio and his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He lives in Miami Beach with wife Rosalie and children Ginelle and Ben, both of whom are FIU students.
During campus interviews this week, Rosenberg said that his immediate priority as president will be the financial security of the university. “We are in the budget fight of our lives,” he said.
Rosenberg, who served as acting president of FIU in 1999, said his time in Tallahassee dealing with the Florida Legislature prepared him for his new position. He said this experience with the Florida Board of Governors, deep community and statewide support, and his passion for FIU will provide him the tools he needs to move the university forward.
“I have committed nearly all of my professional career to FIU. I love this institution and there’s no place where I would rather be,” he told the Board of Trustees Search Committee. “We will work to make sure FIU is a leading student-centered urban public research university that is locally and globally engaged. We will energize our alumni network. Our graduates have a hungry heart for FIU.”
Board of Trustees Chair David Parker said he is proud of the process that brought the Board of Trustees to its decision.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Rosenberg as FIU’s new president,” said Parker. “This is a new era for FIU and we are confident we are putting the university in the best possible hands after a successful trajectory of extraordinary growth and development led by Dr. Maidique. Under Mark’s leadership, we know FIU will continue to flourish into the world-class university it is destined to be.”
Rosenberg was chosen after a five-month search driven by a
Presidential Search Advisory Committee that was led by FIU Executive Dean of the College of Business Administration Joyce Elam and included the participation of 26 members of the community.
With the assistance of the search firm Greenwood/Asher and Associates, the advisory committee reviewed 34 applicants and interviewed the 11 most qualified. The advisory committee recommended four to be interviewed by the FIU Board of Trustees Presidential Search Committee.
The BOT Search Committee on Tuesday invited three finalists – FIU Executive Vice President and Provost Ronald Berkman, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chancellor Carlos Santiago and Rosenberg - to campus for day-long interviews on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Berkman withdrew his candidacy on Friday to accept the presidency of Cleveland State University, a public university located in downtown Cleveland. On Saturday morning, Santiago withdrew his candidacy as well.
“We wish Dr. Berkman all the best as he begins his tenure at Cleveland State University. His work at FIU will have a lasting impact on the institution and we will miss him,” said Parker. “We also appreciate Dr. Santiago’s interest in FIU. We enjoyed getting to know him over these past few days and wish him continued success at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.”
During the three days of campus visits this week, each of the candidates met with students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumni, donors and other members of the FIU community, all of whom had the opportunity to fill out evaluation forms on the candidates.
After a week of interviews, this morning the BOT Search Committee met and recommended Rosenberg to the full Board, who then voted unanimously to extend an offer to Rosenberg. The decision must now be ratified by the Florida Board of Governors.
When Rosenberg assumes the position this summer, he will join a select group of four men, each of whom put his indelible stamp on the university during his tenure as president: Charles E. Perry, 1969-1976; Harold B. Crosby, 1976-1979; Gregory Baker Wolfe, 1979-1986; and Modesto A. Maidique, 1986-2009.
Maidique, who announced last November he would step down once a successor was named, will return to the College of Business Administration, where he is a faculty member. Maidique also directs the Center for Leadership at FIU.
Maidique’s tenure at FIU was marked by significant growth and expansion. The university has tripled in physical size. Under his leadership, the university has more than doubled enrollment to more than 38,000 students, added 22 new doctoral programs and 18 undergraduate programs, and has seen research expenditures grow from about $6 million to nearly $110 million.
During that time, the university also has established accredited colleges of Law, Engineering, Architecture and Public Health. In August 2009, the FIU College of Medicine will open its doors for the first time to welcome its first class of 43 students.
“FIU will continue to accomplish great things under the energetic and able stewardship of Mark Rosenberg,” said Maidique, who worked with Rosenberg for more than two decades. “I am thrilled for Mark and for FIU.”
Florida International University was founded in 1965 and is Miami’s only public research university. With a student body of more than 38,000, FIU graduates more Hispanics than any other university in the country. Its 17 colleges and schools offer more than 200 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations and law. FIU has been classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a “High Research Activity University.” In 2006 FIU was authorized to establish a medical school, which will welcome its first class in 2009. FIU’s College of Law recently received accreditation in the fastest time allowed by the American Bar Association.
Media Contact: Maydel Santana-Bravo