Dr. Devin Stephenson approved as president of Lakeland’s Florida Polytechnic University

Florida Poly Devin Stephenson
Devin Stephenson was chosen to become the second president of Florida Polytechnic University. Photo provided by FL Poly.



On Wednesday the State University System of Florida’s Board of Governors officially approved Dr. Devin Stephenson as the second president of Florida Polytechnic University. Selected from a pool of 90 applicants and five finalists, Dr. Stephenson’s appointment marks a new chapter for the institution, with a clear vision for elevating its national recognition, expanding its STEM focus, and fostering innovation.

 “I am committed to leading the institution to broader national recognition for our work and to enhance our STEM focus, by expanding our academic enterprise with world-class faculty, positively impacting our student development and career preparedness, and continuing our quest to become a generator of innovation.” – Dr. Devon Stephenson

During the confirmation process, Dr. Stephenson reiterated his commitment to upholding free speech while maintaining the integrity of the educational environment. In response to questions from Governor Tim Cerio regarding his stance on free expression, Dr. Stephenson affirmed his support, emphasizing the importance of providing individuals with a platform for free speech without disrupting the academic process.

“I am certainly a proponent of free speech, but not lawlessness. I certainly believe that it’s important that we provide individuals with an environment where they can freely speak but not as a deterrent to the academic process, the educational process, or the disruption of education in any institution in the state of Florida or this nation.”

In his vision statement, Dr. Stephenson outlined his plans to enhance the university’s academic enterprise by attracting world-class faculty, supporting student development, and fostering a culture of innovation. His goals align with the university’s mission to prepare students for successful careers in the ever-evolving fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

With unanimous approval from the Board of Governors, Dr. Devin Stephenson’s tenure as president of Florida Polytechnic University is set until 2027. His leadership promises to steer the institution toward greater recognition and academic excellence. 

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