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New president Kent Fuchs plans to lift up UF . . .

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By Jeff Schweers
Staff writer
Published: Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 27, 2014 at 8:04 p.m.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Kent Fuchs cuts a striking figure as he strides across the arts quad at Cornell University, pointing out his favorite buildings. Tall and long-legged, Fuchs exudes a youthful energy for his 60 years as he leans into the wind, hands in pockets, a freezing wind blowing his sandy hair.

However casual and cheerful he might be seen, Fuchs is a fighter who likes to take on new challenges, a fierce competitor for the greater good, colleagues say. He has a gift for seeing the big picture of where a university should be.

Colleagues also describe him as determined, clear-eyed of vision, laser-focused and practical. They also say he is fair-minded, honest, transparent.

His collaborative style and willingness to listen to all points of view before making tough decisions has inspired great loyalty among the deans, vice presidents and provosts he has worked closely with these past six years as provost, they say.

"He is a man of vision, a man who plans his strategy for what he wants to accomplish, who won't settle for less than excellence," said Kathryn Boor, dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at Cornell. "And he's quite competitive. He wants to win."

After 13 years at Cornell, the first six and a half as dean of the College of Engineering, Fuchs is moving on. On Jan. 1, he will become the 12th president of the University of Florida, a position he will inherit from Bernie Machen, who served as UF's president for 11 years.

The University of Florida board of trustees hired Fuchs hoping he will do for UF what he did for Cornell. He told the board he has a good 10 years left in him before retirement, and he said he plans to devote that time to taking UF into the top 10 ranks of public universities in the nation.

. . . .

Go Gators!

A southeast Florida laid back beach bum and volunteer bikini assessor who lives on island time. 


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