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RELEASE: Board of Governors elects Syd Kitson as chair and Brian Lamb as vice chair

GAINESVILLE — The Board of Governors elected Syd Kitson as the new chair and Brian Lamb as the new vice chair on Wednesday for terms starting January 1, 2020 and ending December 31, 2021. 

Kitson is Chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners, a Florida-based real estate company specializing in the creation and development of master-planned communities and commercial properties. He has served on the Board since June 2017, most recently as the Board’s vice chair and as chair of the Board’s Budget & Finance Committee.

“We’ve made incredible progress in these past few years, and I couldn’t be more excited about the potential we have in front of us,” Kitson said. “I look forward to building on the great work of my predecessors while also moving forward with some new strategies to make the State University System even stronger.” 

Brian Lamb serves as executive vice president and head of Retail Banking and Retail Brokerage at Fifth Third Bank. He has served on the Board of Governors since March 2019. Previously, he was chair of the Board of Trustees at the University of South Florida.

“The State University System is key to Florida’s economic prosperity, and I’m thrilled to work alongside chair-elect Kitson to push our institutions to even greater heights,” Lamb said. “It’s an honor to be selected by my colleagues, and I will do everything in my power to ensure the success of our System and our students.” 

Kitson and Lamb will begin as chair and vice chair in January, when the Board will recognize outgoing Chair Ned Lautenbach for his service.  Under Lautenbach’s leadership, Florida has maintained its U.S. News & World Report ranking as the no. 1 state for higher education and advanced a number of important initiatives around student success and well-being, budget and finance, and online education.

Facts about the State University System of Florida and the Board of Governors

The State University System of Florida is a constitutional body led by the 17-member Board of Governors. The system has 12 universities and more than 341,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation. Responsibilities include defining the distinctive mission of each institution and managing the system’s coordination and operation. The Board appoints a Chancellor who serves as the system’s chief executive. For more, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.