Community Leader Forum – Lakeland – Ava L. Parker, Interim COO, Florida Polytechnic University

On August 6, 2013 GrayRobinson held a Community Leader Forum at the Lakeland Yacht & Country Club featuring Ava L. Parker, Interim Chief Operating Officer of Florida Polytechnic University. The University is the 12th and newest member of Florida's state university system, signed into creation by Governor Rick Scott on April 20, 2012.

Parker discussed the focus of Florida Polytechnic University and what will differentiate the school from other universities. "Florida Poly" will focus on STEM programs, specifically technology and engineering, in an interdisciplinary and collaborative teaching and research environment. The university will consist of the College of Innovation and Technology and the College of Engineering, each offering six degrees. Degrees will range from Advanced Computer Science and Information Technologies to Computer, Electrical and Industrial Engineering. Parker stated that faculty recruitment is currently in process and expects members to join the university by Fall of 2013. Student recruiting is also in progress throughout the Florida State College System, public and private high schools, and international schools from South America and the far East. Classes will begin in August of 2014.

Parker discussed the construction of the state-of-the-art Innovation, Science and Technology Building designed by architect Dr. Santiago Calatrava, who redesigned the Olympic Sports Complex in Athens, Greece. Upon completion set for June, 2014, the 160,000 square-foot building will feature classrooms, auditoriums, research and teaching labs, meeting rooms, office for faculty and academic administration, as well as 26,000 square-feet of common-use area.

For more information about Florida Polytechnic University click here.