How Florida International University is nurturing students to create the best opportunities
Mark Rosenberg President – Florida International University
What policies could be implemented so as to further expand research?
We have to find a way to incentivize faculties to be more innovative and creative. That involves giving them a significant part of the revenue created by anything they might invent. Great faculties also need great graduate students, and they need postdoctoral scholars. Postdoctoral scholars are individuals who have got their PhD, but are willing to work as assistants to professors who have already been on the field for a long time.
What are the main challenges to remaining leaders in research? What differentiates the facilities of Florida International University facilities from others?
The main challenge is to continue to maintain the talent here and to continue hiring great professionals. The facilities are critical because advanced research is expensive we need great facilities. We are fortunate that the state has been willing to invest in science and laboratories, as well as engineering laboratories, at Florida International University (FIU). We have been able to double our research since 2009. In 2016, Forbes named us as one of the top large companies to work for in the U.S. We were ranked 64, with more than 5,000 employees, and were ranked second in Florida.
How can the universities better connect academia with industry?
You have to look at what we’ve done with The Beacon Council with the One Community, One Goal initiative where, of seven sectors, we identified six and developed a plan to work directly with industry. Secondly, we are in discussions with The Beacon Council’s advisory group, academia and the business community to determine how we can collaborate. Third, is that we set up the talent development network, which is a portal providing internships for students to work in industry. Industry often claims that we aren’t responsive to their needs but it’s a shared responsibility because the occupational spectrum is so specific and so detailed that it’s hard to believe that industry thinks that we could produce specialists for each of the specializations that they have in their respective company. The Talent Development Network, which isn’t just FIU, has placed over 200 students in careers. All of the institutions of higher learning in Miami-Dade County working together assure that students can understand what their career is going to look like and that they are going to have a potential opportunity with a company. The company can train students and they can come back and take full-time positions. The national data is that 65 percent of students who take internships eventually work with the same company at a salary premium of $12,000 to $13,000.