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Florida Poly hires first employee: Ava Parker as COO

8:20 PM, Nov 19, 2012   |    comments
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Lakeland, FL- The Florida Polytechnic University Board of Trustees chose an interim chief operating officer Monday to help make the crucial first steps in getting the new institution off the ground.

Ava L. Parker, a Jacksonville lawyer with more than a decade of experience in higher education, has agreed to serve as Florida Poly's leader for a period of two years, beginning Dec. 1.

Parker, a practicing attorney at Lawrence & Parker P.A., resigned her position on the Florida Board of Governors, a position she has held for nearly a decade.  She also previously served on the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees. She received her bachelor and law degrees from the University of Florida.

Parker will help shape the institution's mission and vision, oversee the ongoing development of the new campus, hire key staff, and ensure that the institution stays on track to academic accreditation as it recruits its first students.

"As we started to think about the interim leader of the Polytechnic, it became clear that we needed someone not only with a background in higher education, but with real-world savvy to help us communicate our vision to the many, varied stakeholders interested in seeing this university succeed," said Rob Gidel, chair of the Florida Polytechnic Board of Trustees. "Ava Parker is the right person for the job. We are excited she agreed to take on this challenge."

"Florida Polytechnic University represents a unique opportunity for our state, and I'm looking forward to being a part of it," Parker said. "I'm confident that my experience in serving our other great public universities will help Florida Polytechnic become not only a world-class institution in itself, but an integral part of the State University System of Florida."

SOURCE: Press Release

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