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Personnel Note: Terry Parker named provost of Florida Poly

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Terry Parker has been named the new provost of Florida Polytechnic University, effective September 1.

President Randy K. Avent announced the appointment Monday.

Parker, an engineering researcher, most recently served as Provost and Executive Vice President of the Colorado School of Mines, according to a press release.

“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,” the release said.

“Adding Dr. Parker’s leadership and experience in building world-renowned STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs will help accelerate (the school’s) growth,” Avent said in a statement.

Parker has undergraduate and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He also worked at IBM Corp.

Florida Poly, founded by conservative former state Sen. JD Alexander, was established as the state’s 12th university in 2012.

The school now offers six bachelor’s degree programs and two master’s degree programs. It does not yet offer doctorate programs.

The school’s Lakeland campus is known for its spaceship-looking main building designed by architect Santiago Calatrava.

“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,” Parker said.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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