Massachusetts Educator Ghazi Darkazalli to Serve as Florida Poly Provost

Mary Toothman | Metro Desk, January 14, 2013, The
Florida Polytechnic University made its first academic hire Monday with the selection of a Massachusetts educator with extensive global experience to serve as its provost.

A selection committee spoke with four candidates for the interim job of vice president of academic affairs before deciding upon Ghazi Darkazalli of Bedford, Mass.

“I am really pleased with the selection,” said committee member Don Wilson, a lawyer from Homeland. “He had incredible knowledge and experience, and he has good energy.”

One candidate, Peter French of Lakewood Ranch, already had made another commitment and pulled his name from consideration. But he came to Orlando anyway and shared his ideas about the polytechnic.

Darkazalli was the first candidate interviewed in a meeting room at the Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport on Monday morning. He most recently served as president and CEO of Marian Court College in Swampscott, Mass., a private college sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.

He has a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and extensive global consulting affiliations. He said he is available to get to work very soon and has no problem with working part- time initially.

Asked about hiring professors at the university when tenure is unlikely to be offered he said he prefers that. Tenure, he said, is not the key to hiring a talented group of professors.

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