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FAU Names Three Presidential Finalists Which Include Naval Academy Superintendent Sean Buck

The Florida Atlantic University Presidential Search Committee recommended to the University’s Board of Trustees the following finalists for the presidency of the University (in alphabetical order):

Vice Admiral Sean Buck is the Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy. Buck has served as Superintendent since 2019. Prior to his appointment as Superintendent, he was the Commander of the U.S. Fourth Fleet and U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command. Buck also served as the chief of staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Strategy, Plans and Policy Directorate in the Pentagon. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy and a master’s degree from George Washington University.

Michael Hartline, Ph.D. is the dean of the College of Business at Florida State University. Hartline has served as the dean of the College of Business since 2016. During his time at Florida State University, Hartline has also served as the interim vice president for University Advancement, interim president of the Florida State University Foundation, interim executive vice president of the Florida State University Foundation, interim dean of the College of Business, and chair of the Department of Marketing. He earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Jacksonville State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Memphis.

Jose Sartarelli, Ph.D., was the former Chancellor of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Sartarelli served as Chancellor from 2015 until 2022. Before being appointed as Chancellor, he was the Milan Puskar dean of the College of Business and Economics and chief global officer at West Virginia University. Sartarelli has also served as the company group chair of the Pharmaceutical Group for the Asia-Pacific, Japan, and Latin America divisions of Johnson & Johnson and president of Worldwide Medicines Group for the Latin America, Puerto Rico, and Canada divisions of Bristol-Myers Squibb. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Sao Paulo School of Business Administration, and an MBA and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.

Today’s selections culminate months of work by the committee. Assisted by AGB Search, Inc., the committee developed and the university board approved an ambitious Presidential Profile that emphasizes the university’s strategic pillars and initiatives. The committee also approved an aggressive national marketing campaign that yielded 63 candidates from across the country.

The committee then spent several weeks conducting confidential in-person interviews with several semi-finalists before selecting the finalists today.

“On behalf of the entire university, I extend heartfelt thanks to the Presidential Search Committee for their phenomenal work,” said Brad Levine, Chair of the FAU Board of Trustees and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “The outstanding quality of the applicant pool that was generated for this position is truly inspiring.”

The applicant pool included 12 current or former university or system presidents, eight executive vice presidents, five provosts, and several vice presidents of health affairs and deans. Seven candidates were from member institutions of the prestigious Association of American Universities, and six were from Carnegie 1 Research Institutions. An array of senior leaders with non-academic backgrounds also applied.

“The fact that FAU received so many outstanding applications from across the nation shows the strength and attractiveness of both our university and the State University System as a whole,” Levine added.

“This applicant pool is one of the strongest we have ever seen,” said Rod McDavis, Ph.D., managing principal of AGB Search, Inc. “It is the result of the committee’s hard work, dedication to the process, and adherence to the highest standards for the conduct of the search. AGB Search is proud to have assisted FAU in assembling such an exceptional pool.”

In accordance with the Florida Board of Governors’ requirements for university presidential searches, each of the finalists will conduct public forums on FAU’s campuses before interviewing with the Board of Trustees. The schedule for these activities and more information will be released soon.

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