Pritchett Confirmed as Interim President of FAU
BOCA RATON, FL (September 24, 2009) – The Florida Board of Governors today ratified the appointment of John Pritchett as interim president of Florida Atlantic University. In July, FAU’s Board of Trustees named Pritchett to the post. He replaces Frank T. Brogan, who left FAU earlier this month to become chancellor of Florida’s state university system.
“I am delighted to guide Florida Atlantic University on its continued path of growth and success,” said Pritchett, who has served as FAU’s provost and chief academic officer since 2004. “It is an honor and a privilege to take on the role of interim president, and I will work hard to ensure that FAU does not lose momentum as it continues to evolve into a first-choice university.”
Pritchett has extensive experience in university administration and as provost has provided overall direction for FAU’s academic programs.
“The Board of Trustees greatly appreciates John Pritchett’s willingness to serve,” said board chair Nancy Blosser. “I know that he will have the support of the entire university community as he takes on the high responsibility of leading FAU during this time of transition.”
Under Pritchett’s leadership, FAU has evolved on many levels. He oversaw development of FAU’s 10th college – the Graduate College – which opened in November 2007. This college, which this fall reported a 15 percent increase in newly enrolled graduate students, performs centralized office services for degree-seeking graduate students, from admissions to advising to final graduation clearance.
Faculty dedication and expertise continue to be top-notch at FAU. The fall 2009 semester marked the introduction of the university’s new general education curriculum, which was spearheaded by Pritchett and Edward Pratt, dean of undergraduate studies and implemented by the faculty.
In collaboration with Michael Moriarty, interim vice president for research, Pritchett has helped raise FAU’s research profile at the national and international levels. During the 2008-09 fiscal year, the university received more than $40 million in sponsored research awards and made nearly $44 million in research expenditures.
Pritchett oversees the university’s relationship with Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce, which FAU acquired in December 2007. This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) selected Harbor Branch as the site of its new Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research and Technology.
FAU’s research and educational partnerships with Scripps Florida and the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies have also grown in recent years. In a move to continue the expansion of its research facilities and acquire yet another world-class research partner, FAU will soon welcome the Max Planck Society to its Jupiter campus. Ground will be broken this year on a state-of-the-art facility will be home to Max Planck scientists and will include 10,000 square feet of research space for the use of FAU faculty and students.
Prior to joining FAU as provost and chief academic officer, Pritchett was on the faculty and held numerous administrative posts at Auburn University. He joined the Auburn faculty in 1973 as an assistant professor of physiology, winning promotion to associate professor in 1978 and to full professor in 1983. In 1979, he was awarded an alumni professorship in recognition of his academic achievement, and in 1982, he was named head of Auburn’s department of zoology and entomology.
With the re-organization of Auburn’s administrative structure in 1986, Pritchett became chair of the department of zoology and wildlife science in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. In 1995, he was named associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School. Appointments to the positions of associate provost for academic affairs and dean of the Graduate School, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, and associate provost and vice president for Graduate Studies soon followed. Pritchett holds a Ph.D. in animal physiology and biochemistry from Iowa State University as well as a master of science degree in physiology and a bachelor of science degree in biological sciences from Auburn University. He and his wife, Ginger, have four children and 12 grandchildren.
About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts ten colleges: College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Graduate College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.