Born in Oklahoma, raised in Alaska, attended high school in Miami and college at Duke: not the path you would expect from the twelfth president of the University of Florida, but Kent Fuchs is far from an ordinary university president. In college, Kent had his sights set on engineering, then business, and eventually the ministry before turning to a life of higher education. In his third year as UF’s president, he is reflective of the experiences he has had that led him to the University of Florida.
Fuchs is fluent in Floridian. When asked what make Florida unique out of all of the states he’s worked, President Fuchs said “we here in the state of florida are blessed by an economy and a state that’s growing… our state is very blessed that our population is growing, not declining, and also, we’re relatively a young state. 100 years is – on average – about the age of our cities. Some of them are actually younger than that when you think of Orlando, it’s really grown most in the last 50 or 60 years. So we’re a younger, more vibrant state than many of the others that I’ve worked in.”
Even though he grew up in the culturally vibrant 1960’s, President Fuchs witnessed minimal culture growing up with no television. Now, as the president of a preeminent research institution, President Fuchs is having to make decisions about free speech and social media.