FIU Dean Resigns Amid Misconduct Allegations


Isabel Donner

After working at FIU for 44 years and serving as president for 13, Mark Rosenberg has resigned his position amid allegations of misconduct.

Isabel Donner, Copy Editor

After serving as the president of Florida International University for almost 13 years, Mark Rosenberg has announced his resignation from his position. In the statement made on Friday, Jan. 21, Rosenberg explained the reason for his decision to step down from the position as being due to mental health issues related to his wife’s declining health. However, a more recent statement made on Sunday has suggested workplace misconduct as an additional reason for his resignation.

In a letter published on the university’s website on Friday, Rosenberg announced his resignation, which was effective the same day. He explained personal health issues and the “deteriorating health” of his wife, who suffers from dementia and multiple sclerosis, as the reason for his decision. He went on to thank the community, faculty, staff and students for their contributions to the university’s success. The decision came as a surprise as Rosenberg had previously indicated that he had no plans on resigning.

On Sunday, however, he elaborated on the shocking decision, explaining how the personal distress he had due to these health concerns pertaining to his wife “spilled over to [his] work” and led him to create “an emotional entanglement” with a female colleague. While details of his misconduct toward his colleague were not disclosed, an investigation into the potential harassment has been ongoing since mid-December.

It’s really concerning to see something like this happening so close in our community. I think it’s good that FIU took initiative in launching an investigation, but, in general, more needs to be done to prevent this kind of harassment in the workplace,

— junior Ariana Alvarez said

“I think it was weird how at first he just said that he was resigning because of health issues, but then admitted the allegations two days later. It will be interesting to see what they find with the investigation,” junior Brittany Fuenmayor said.

The investigation was initiated by FIU after the unidentified woman confided in a colleague that Rosenberg had been harassing her for months. The investigation found that the misconduct began in October of last year with advances being made three times until Dec. 14, when the woman told a colleague about what was happening and told Rosenberg she would be resigning. Rosenberg then reported what happened to the FIU Board of Trustees Chairman, who launched the investigation and later gave Rosenberg a choice between resigning or being terminated.

FIU now joins a conglomeration of universities searching for a new president, and it is also not the first to lose a president over harassment allegations. Just earlier this month, on Jan. 16, the University of Michigan fired President Mark Schlissel over an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.

Until a new president is found, Kenneth Jessell, the university’s chief financial officer and senior vice president for finance and administration, will be serving as interim president.