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Punta Gorda Resident Named New FGCU Charlotte Center Executive Director
6/3/2003

FORT MYERS, FL - This week, Florida Gulf Coast University named Robert L. Burns of Charlotte County’s Deep Creek community executive director of the FGCU Charlotte Center as part of his continuing relationship with FGCU’s academic initiatives.

Burns served as the founding executive director of The Alliance of Educational Leaders, an initiative started by FGCU President William C. Merwin in 1999 to bring together leaders of the school districts and institutions of higher learning in FGCU’s five county region.

His most recent leadership role includes assisting to develop the state-funded Bachelor of Science in Applied Science joint program between FGCU and Edison Community College.

As FGCU Charlotte Center executive director Burns is responsible for operating the Charlotte office, scheduling and promoting courses and programs, and serving as the communication link between Charlotte County and FGCU.

“Bringing together the resources and talents of Charlotte County and Florida Gulf Coast University offers special challenges and opportunities,” Burns said. “I intend to build dynamic partnerships involving the county and the University. Both are rich in potential and talent. Together we can make life even better in this part of our state.”

Burns’ roots in the Charlotte community date back to the 1960s when he and wife Pat visited the Englewood and Placida areas while he earned his master’s degree from the University of Florida. They later bought a house in Port Charlotte for their retirement.

His long list of academic accomplishments includes professorships and administrative positions in Wisconsin and Kentucky. At Washburn University in Kansas he served as interim president, vice president for Academic Affairs and deputy to the president, dean of Arts and Sciences, and dean of Graduate Studies.

Before retiring in 1999, he was president and professor of English for nine years at Peru State College in Peru, Neb.

“We are extremely fortunate to have Bob Burns as Executive Director of the FGCU Charlotte Center. He is an experienced and creative academic leader. He has been directly involved in FGCU initiatives. And as a resident himself, he is deeply committed to making the Center a vital educational resource for Charlotte County citizens,” said Dr. Jack Crocker, Dean of Graduate Studies and Continual Learning.

Charlotte County Commissioners will meet Burns at their June 10 meeting. He officially begins July 1.

For more information, contact Burns at (941) 764-8905.


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