WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Florida International University has begun a national search for their sixth president after accepting Mark B. Rosenberg’s resignation, Friday afternoon.

In a letter to Board of Trustee Dean Colson, Rosenberg wrote that he has chosen to step down immediately to focus on himself and his family.

“I am stepping back so that I may give full attention to recurring personal health issues and to the deteriorating health of my wife, Rosalie,” he wrote in the letter.

He also wrote, “I want to thank our university community. I have always appreciated the ‘can­ do’ attitude of faculty colleagues, professional staff, and our hardworking students, and am grateful for the widespread community support that our university now enjoys.”

Rosenberg had been president since 2009.

FIU students hearing the news said they feel sad to see him go, calling him part of the school’s legacy.

“He was a really good president, and I’m definitely going to remember him,” said student Maria Aguirre. “He did a lot for the school and for the community, and he was always with the students.”

“Everything comes to an end at one point, so I think it’s time for him to retire, so he can just rest and be with his wife,” said student Katherine Cadavid.

Prior to Rosenberg’s letter to the FIU community, a letter was sent out by Colson.

Along with accepting Rosenberg’s resignation, the letter went on to reference a possible interim president.

“I will be nominating Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration Dr. Kenneth Jessell to serve as interim president while we conduct a national search for FIU’s sixth president,” wrote Colson.

In ending his letter, Rosenberg said, “It has truly been the honor of a lifetime to represent our community and help build our FIU.”

FIU’s Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting Friday afternoon.

While Rosenberg had celebrated success in FIU, he also helped the student body through one of the school’s darkest days, after 2018’s bridge collapse.

But despite rave reviews and more than a decade of leadership, conspicuously missing from the Board of Trustees’ emergency meeting was any mention of Rosenberg’s long list of accomplishments. In fact, his name was never mentioned at all.

The only FIU official to mention his name publicly was the school’s new interim president, during a taped video message.

During the emergency meeting, the board of trustees appointed Jessell to the job.

“I want to thank former president Mark Rosenberg for his leadership and heard work, and making FIU what is is today. I know that we will continue to elevate our university to new heights,” said Jessell.

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