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Board of Governors Confirms Presidents at FIU and UF

Reappoints President at UWF and Appoints Interim President at FAU

TAMPA— Today, the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida confirmed the appointments of Dr. Kenneth Jessell as the president of Florida International University and Dr. Ben Sasse as the president of the University of Florida.

Dr. Kenneth Jessell most recently served as the university’s interim president since January.  Before serving as interim president, Jessell was FIU’s senior vice president for finance and administration and CFO for 13 years.  In this position, he was responsible for managing and administering the university’s financial, facility and business service operations.  He is also a finance professor in the College of Business Administration at FIU.

Dr. Ben Sasse most recently served as a U.S. Senator from Nebraska.  An accomplished academic with a career spanning both the private and public sectors, Sasse served as president at Midland University in Nebraska and a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin.  He is the author of two books and numerous high-profile articles on issues ranging from higher education to the importance of community in a functioning democracy. 

“The State University System is incredibly fortunate to have such extremely talented new presidents in Dr. Jessell and Dr. Sasse,” said Brian Lamb, chair of the Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System of Florida.  “With your visionary thinking and inspirational leadership, we know you’ll lead these universities to new heights.  We look forward to working with you as you build upon the foundation set by the dedicated presidents before you.”

In other meeting highlights the Board:

  • Confirmed the reappointment of Dr. Martha D. Saunders as the University of West Florida president.
  • Confirmed the appointment of Dr. Stacy Volnick as interim president of Florida Atlantic University.
  • Approved the creation of subsidiaries of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Inc., to be utilized for the development of the Moffitt Pasco County Life Sciences Park.
  • Approved the Public Notice of Intent to Adopt Board of Governors Regulation 10.003, Post-Tenure Faculty Review
  • Approved the second round of university proposals for receiving Linking Industry to Nursing Education (LINE) funds.
  • Approved changes to four performance-based funding metrics.
  • Approved the University 2022-2023 Carryforward Spending Plans.
  • Approved the 2022-2023 University Fixed Capital Outlay Budgets.
  • Confirmed the appointment of Dr. David Williams to the Florida Polytechnic University board of trustees and Mr. Justin Roth to the Florida State University board of trustees.

For more information, consult the meeting’s official minutes at  The Board’s next meeting is January 24-25, 2023, at Florida International University in Miami.


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 430,000 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.