Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg resigned as president of Florida International University in a letter to faculty on Friday.
An emergency meeting is being held by the Board of Trustees to discuss his successor Friday afternoon.
In his letter of resignation, Dr. Rosenberg cited his and his wife's health as a reason for his departure.
"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," said Dr. Rosenberg in the letter.
Board of Trustees Chair Dean C. Colson said in a statement that he will be nominating Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration Dr. Kenneth Jessell to serve as interim president while the university conducts a national search for its sixth president.
"I know Dr. Jessell will have our support and cooperation as he helps steer our university through the coming months," Colson said.
Dr. Rosenberg served as the fifth president of FIU for 13 years before his resignation Friday.
Dr. Rosenberg is a first-generation college graduate whose two children, Ben and Ginelle, are both graduates of FIU. He and his wife of over 45 years, Rosalie, are members of Temple Menorah in Miami Beach.
In his resignation letter, Dr. Rosenberg went on to express his gratitude for the university community, including the faculty, staff, students, Board of Trustees, Board of Governors, Board of Directors and donors.
He also expressed his pride in all that the university has accomplished throughout his 13-year presidency.
In 2009, Dr. Rosenberg made history as the first FIU faculty member to ascend to the university’s presidency.
Under his leadership, FIU increased enrollment to almost 58,000 students, improved graduation rates by 23% and hired over 400 new full-time faculty members.
During his presidency, research expenditures grew by over 120% to nearly $226 million, and over 100 new student advisers and counselors have been hired for a restructured and expanded student graduation initiative. FIU was also named both a Carnegie “Highest Research” and “Engaged” institution.
"Located in one of the world’s great cities, it is inevitable that FIU will become one of the preeminent research universities in America," Colson said in a statement. "I can assure you that our next leader will be committed to that mission."
In his letter of resignation, Dr. Rosenberg said he intends to resume his research and teaching on inter-American affairs.
"I look forward to working with the entire university community as we search for our next President. I believe the FIU presidency is one of the great jobs in higher education," Colson said.