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Atwater interviews for FAU presidency

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater interviewed Friday morning to become the next president of Florida Atlantic University.

Atwater is among nine candidates being considered for the post.

Former U.S. Senator George LeMieux is also a finalist. His interview begins at 2 p.m.

During his 90-minute interview, Atwater repeatedly said he would build “the brand” of Florida Atlantic University. He also pledged to encourage “creativity and innovation in all facets of the university.”

His priorities, he said, would include expanding the medical school, improving the graduation rate, and building partnerships with local businesses. He would also consider adding new online offerings.

“For us, in the near term, I would certainly believe we could begin to explore how we could integrate online learning with an association and participation in our campus life in real time here on the campus,” he said. “I don’t see it as mutually exclusive. I see it as, in fact, very exciting.”

In making his pitch, Atwater touted his experience in the banking industry and the Florida Legislature. He served as Senate President from 2008 to 2010.

The selection committee is expected to choose the final three candidates Friday evening. The candidates will tour FAU's campuses and participate in open forums next week.