WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A statement from the now former president of Florida International University has provided new insight into his sudden departure.

In the statement, issued Sunday, Dr. Mark Rosenberg thanked the community for their concern and alluded to inappropriate conduct toward a colleague.

He said his exit from the post he held since 2009 came after years of being the caregiver for his wife.

Rosenberg wrote, “Rosalie, a Type 1 diabetic on insulin for 45 years, has advanced dementia, [multiple sclerosis], and is largely wheelchair bound. I have been her nightly caregiver for over a decade. But Rosalie’s condition entered a new stage in just the last few months, resulting in further cognitive debilitation. When I finally realized the impact that her condition had on my personal well-being in late October, 2021, I sought professional mental health services and am still under a specialist’s care.”

He went on to write, “Regrettably, these issues spilled over to my work, and I caused discomfort for a valued colleague. I unintentionally created emotional (not physical) entanglement. I have apologized. I apologize to you. I take full responsibility and regret my actions.”

Rosenberg then explained that, “In consultation with the Chair of the Board of Trustees, I realized that an immediate change would be healthy for all parties.”

Rosenberg’s departure on Friday night stunned students on campus.

“Honestly, I didn’t see it coming,” said FIU junior Maria Aguirre.

“Pretty disappointing seeing it coming from the president,” said FIU student Joe Candice.

“He has a wife so, that’s kind of shocking for the university, kinda puts a stain on the name,” said FIU student Kevin Miranda.

Rosenberg was the fifth president at FIU, taking the helm in 2009, and he was the first faculty member to ascend to that position. He’s credited with increasing enrollment to 58,000 students and improving the graduation rate by 23%.

“He was a really good president. I’m definitely going to remember him,” said FIU junior Katherine Cadavid.

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

The board addressed the matter in their own statement, also issued Sunday.

Dean Colson with FIU’s Board of Trustees wrote that Rosenberg’s statement “provides insight into why the Board did not believe Friday was the appropriate time to celebrate the many accomplishments of FIU the past 13 years. We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the events requiring his resignation.”

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

“I want to thank former President Mark Rosenberg for his leadership and hard work in helping to make FIU what it is today. I know that we will continue to elevate our university to new heights.”

Students are hopeful for change.

“Definitely starting with the president. I think that’s a place where growth is capable,” said Miranda.

“I just hope that people hold others accountable. That’s all I can really hope for,” said another FIU student.

Rosenberg said he is now seeking additional help for his wife through the “inevitable progression of her condition.”

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