University of Florida President Kent Fuchs Steps Down

Michael Angee, Sports Editor

University of Florida President Kent Fuchs announced on Jan. 5 that he plans to step down from his current post and transition to that of a professor.

In 2015, Fuchs became the 12th president of the university. During his time as president, Fuchs has been a part of the school’s rise as one of the most sought-after and highest-ranked schools in the country. 

Fuchs told the UF Board of Trustees in August of 2021 that he planned to make this transition with the agreement to continue in his current position until the completion of the 2022 fall semester, and until a predecessor is announced, which is expected to occur in early 2023. 

With his leadership, UF became one of the top 10 ranked universities in the country, launched and completed a $3 billion fundraising campaign and has not increased the cost of tuition.

UF entered the list of top 10 universities in the country in 2017, a long-awaited achievement since 1948 when J. Hillis Manner — UF’s fourth president — stated that he would do the same during his inauguration speech. Manner did not accomplish this, but Fuchs accomplished this goal. 

Additionally, Fuchs announced that he plans to take a sabbatical — a period of leave for educators — and then return to the university as a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering. Here, he will join colleagues in research and teaching. 

“I think that since had such a high-powered position, you would think the dean of a school isn’t very connected to his students, but because he was present on Instagram, TikTok, even Snapchat, everyone knew about him and his life story. And he would walk campus a lot,” Palmetto Alumni and University of Florida sophomore Maddison Schain said. 

Fuchs has become a beloved figure on the UF campus as his sense of humor and light-hearted presence on social media have made his personality very recognizable among students.

 “He would take pictures with anyone that wanted one, he was probably a president that was very in touch with his students. He made sure the students knew who he was,” Schain said. 

Fuchs’ humility and connection with students have also been present in his efforts to make life for UF students a safer experience. 

“Last year we had two UF students pass away from car accidents. I think that there were speed bumps installed on university and all kinds of stuff, there were more preventative measures put in place, there was more awareness,” Schain said, “that was due to this organization called ‘Florida Not One More,’ but Fuchs obviously had a lot of word in that. I think that getting his approval and in conjunction with the organization that really raised awareness for those two people that passed away.”