Florida Polytechnic University Names Dr. Terry Parker as Provost

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New appointment adds to academic and engineering leadership ranks

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Dr. Terry Parker, Florida Polytechnic University Provost

Welcoming a Provost with the skill and dedication that Dr. Parker has shown in growing academic institutions is exciting for our students, faculty, staff and community.

Florida Polytechnic University President Dr. Randy K. Avent is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Terry Parker as Provost for Florida Poly, effective September 1.

Parker is a long-time academic leader and engineering researcher who most recently served as Provost and Executive Vice President of the Colorado School of Mines, one of the world’s leading engineering institutions focused on applied research.

As Provost at Florida Poly, Parker will oversee all aspects of the academic experience, from recruiting students and steering curriculum, to hiring professors and securing research grants amid Florida Poly’s growth.

“Florida Poly is rapidly establishing itself as a regional and national player in innovation and technology, and adding Dr. Parker’s leadership and experience in building world-renowned STEM programs will only help accelerate that growth,” said University President Dr. Randy K. Avent. “Welcoming a Provost with the skill and dedication that Dr. Parker has shown in growing academic institutions is exciting for our students, faculty, staff and community.”

Parker’s own academic record includes a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He subsequently worked at IBM Corp. and other engineering and research firms before joining the Colorado School of Mines as a professor and rising to the post of Provost and Executive Vice President.

The “Mines” school, as it is known, is one of the world’s top engineering schools dedicated to STEM education. While there, Parker helped lead a major expansion of the school, lifting academic standards, adding new research degree programs, leading construction of several new academic buildings and hiring more diverse faculty. Parker’s engineering research includes dozens of studies, with many exploring novel optical systems to measure high-temperature and high-pressure ignition systems for use at power plants.

“I’m honored and thrilled to join Florida Poly, particularly at this phase of the university’s establishment and growth,” Parker said. “Florida Poly’s students, faculty and staff have a unique opportunity to respond to the rapidly evolving needs of today’s high-tech economy in Florida and beyond. I look forward to working with Dr. Avent and the faculty to create a sustainable and upward trajectory of success at Florida’s newest university.”

Florida Poly is presently adding more students, faculty, buildings and staff amid a rapid expansion around the Lakeland Campus, and building more partnerships with corporations and institutions around the world. In addition to bringing on Parker as Provost, the University is also welcoming a new Vice President of Advancement and Associate Vice President of Entrepreneurship as it enters its third academic year.

“I am proud to see Florida Poly attracting such accomplished scientists, business strategists and academic leaders,” said Frank T. Martin, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Florida Poly. “I congratulate Dr. Avent on adding Dr. Parker to the Florida Poly team, and I look forward to the next chapter in our growth.”

About Florida Polytechnic University:
Florida Polytechnic University is the newest member of the State University System of Florida. Dedicated exclusively to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), the University blends applied research with industry partnerships to give students an academically rigorous education with real-world relevance. Faculty experts at Florida Polytechnic University provide insightful analysis, opinions and comments about a broad range of STEM and higher education subjects. To connect with Florida Poly faculty, click here. The campus, located in Lakeland, Fla. along the I-4 High Tech Corridor, opened for classes in the fall of 2014.

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Crystal L. Lauderdale