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University of Florida picks Cornell's Kent Fuchs as president, will replace Bernie Machen Jan. 1

Also: "WHAT DOES THE FUCHS SAY?" is gonna be really old by, like, Friday.

Aaron M. Sprecher

On Wednesday, the University of Florida selected Dr. Kent Fuchs as its 12th president. Fuchs, currently serving as provost of Cornell University, was selected over fellow finalist David McLaughlin, a provost at New York University, and will replace outgoing UF president Bernie Machen, on January 1, 2015.

Here's Florida's press release/summation of Fuchs's c.v., which includes the important note that his last name is pronounced "Fox."

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Kent Fuchs, provost of Cornell University, today was named the 12th president of the University of Florida by the UF Board of Trustees.

He will assume the position Jan. 1, 2015. Dr. Fuchs' appointment requires ratification by the Florida Board of Governors, which is scheduled to meet on Nov.  5 and 6.

Dr. Fuchs brings to the University of Florida all of the important qualities we have been seeking in our next president. He is a distinguished academic who has very effectively served as provost and chief operating officer of an institution ranked 15th of all universities in the nation.

Dr. Fuchs, which is pronounced fox, brings 20 years of leadership at land grant member institutions of the Association of American Universities, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Purdue University. Dr. Fuchs has served for the past 12 years as a dean and then provost at Cornell, which, like UF, is a land-grant institution that has a wide range of colleges and professional schools.

At Cornell, Dr. Fuchs developed a strategic plan for achieving preeminence as one of the world's top-10 universities and launched a university-wide initiative to enhance Cornell's academic stature. Among his major accomplishments was his role in the university's selection by New York City to build a graduate school of applied sciences on Roosevelt Island. Fuchs led the effort for Cornell, which in partnership with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology is building Cornell Tech on 12 acres the city provided.

Dr. Fuchs' experience also includes overseeing a $2.2 billion operating budget and 6,600 full-time employees, developing a budget model and enhancing diversity through Cornell's Toward New Destinations program.

Over his career, Dr. Fuchs was personally responsible for raising $1 billion in gifts, including donations of $130 million, $80 million and $50 million.

Prior to becoming provost in 2009, Dr. Fuchs was the Joseph Silbert Dean of Cornell's College of Engineering. Earlier in his career, he led of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and was a distinguished professor at Purdue University and taught at the University of Illinois.

Dr. Fuchs' distinguished academic background includes designations as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Dr. Fuchs received a bachelor's degree in engineering from Duke University, a master's in divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a master's and doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois.

His wife, Linda, who holds a doctorate in art history, does research on late Roman and early Christian sculpture. They are looking forward to returning to Florida, where he graduated from Miami Killian Senior High School and she taught at The King's Academy, a private school in West Palm Beach, earlier in her career. They have four grown children.

We know that you will find Dr. Fuchs as engaging as we have during the search process. In the coming days, I will share with you a video in which Dr. Fuchs talks about himself and why he wanted to come to the University of Florida. You may also read a little more about Dr. Fuchs on the website
We are grateful to our executive search firm Greenwood/Asher and Associates for their tireless work in identifying a highly qualified pool of applicants.

Finally, I would like to thank you, the University of Florida family, for your interest and support throughout the search process. With our president-elect and your ongoing help, I am confident that our future is brighter than ever.

Steven M. Scott

Chair, UF Board of Trustees and President Search Committee

Machen has served as Florida's president since 2004, and announced plans to retire in 2012, before agreeing to stay on through 2013 after an appeal from Florida governor Rick Scott.