By Joel Waldman

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The long-time Florida International President Mark Rosenberg resigned his post on Friday afternoon.

In the letter to the faculty, he mentioned personal health issues and the deteriorating health of his wife as the reason for his departure.

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Rosenberg released a statement, reading in part:

“I am stepping back, so that I may give my full attention to recurring personal health issues and to the deteriorating health of my wife, Rosalie. It has truly been the honor of a lifetime to represent our community and help build our FIU.”

Rosenberg had been at the university for close to 45 years.

The Board of Trustees met Friday afternoon to discuss his successor.

The board named the school’s Chief Financial Officer Kenneth A. Jessell as the interim president during a Zoom meeting.

Not a single trustee made any comments about Rosenberg during the meeting.

Jessel took to Twitter to thank his predecessor for his decades of service to the school, “I want to thank former President Mark Rosenberg for his leadership and hard work in helping to make FIU what it is today.”

He also took the opportunity to address students and faculty, “As your interim president, I value the responsibility I have been given by our Board of Trustees to usher this institution, and I ask that you join me in this new journey, together as Panthers.”

At the FIU South Campus, many students were aware of Rosenberg and his wife’s health issues, grateful for what he was able to accomplish during his tenure.

“I hope he’s OK. I heard his wife also, something was going on. The two of them I wish them the best,” said Matthew Haimes.

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“I hope he’s doing good, he’s in our prayers. All I’ve really heard right now.”

“I thought he did really well. I noticed a lot of improvements around the campus and how it looks.”

The FIU Board of Trustees and the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the public university system will need to approve Jessell’s nomination.

Watch the meeting of the trustees in its entirety:

 

Rosenberg’s announcement caught everyone at the university by surprise.

Rosenberg first joined FIU in 1976 as an assistant professor of political science. He founded the Latin American and Caribbean Center in 1979.

In 2009, Rosenberg became the first FIU president to rise from the faculty.

Before becoming president, he was the chancellor of the State University System of Florida, which oversees the state’s 12 public universities.

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(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)