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President Timur Reflects on Her First Academic Year in Office

Jessica Piland

Dr. Aysegul Timur was elected by the FGCU Board of Trustees (BOT) on May 4, 2023. She was then confirmed to be FGCU’s first female president by the Florida Board of Governors on June 22, 2023. As she approaches the first-year milestone for both of these events, Timur looks back on her first months in office with pride and excitement. 

In some of her first months as FGCU’s fifth president, Timur said that she strives to be present on campus so that students can get to know her and see her around. She has achieved this goal and gone above and beyond, as she spends time every day walking around campus, going to student presentations and making appearances in classes. 

“My most favorite time is any time that I spend with students, either in the classroom or outside of the classroom,” she said. “I had so much fun when we had the Weeks of Welcome and meeting with our new students.”

Not only does she meet with students every day on campus, but she also made a point to go to on-campus sporting events, spending more time with the Dirty Birds (the student section) than in the press box. 

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“Women’s basketball, I went all the way to Indiana to support our student athletes. [I sat] right on the court side, watching them. Their perseverance and their talents and their hard work,” Timur said. “I’m telling you, students make this job and make this experience very rewarding.”

Some days she starts by getting a cup of coffee with a student, even if that is at 7:30 a.m. She said she is happy to see the dedication of the students on campus to make the time to meet with her, even if that means an early wake up. 

“I try every day [to] spend time with our students,” she said. 

The job as university president does not come without its hard days. Not only is her schedule packed with important meetings and events, but there are even days that Timur has to apply principles of economics, calculating opportunity costs and making decisions that will affect the whole university. 

“So one thing that I learned how to deal with that is, I walk in our academic corridor, right when the students are going [from] one class to another, I get my high fives from students, and then I can come back to the office, I can do anything,” she said.

Over the past months, Timur has been working rigorously to get the Strategic Plan approved by the BOT. The Strategic Plan is a roadmap that she and her administration will follow on their road to making FGCU a better place for students and faculty. 

“I am so proud of our institution,” she said. “And I think I set a very, very rigorous target when I said, ‘we’re going to finish the strategic plan in six months.’”

The 2024-2029 Strategic Plan has been in the works since April 2022, when the FGCU Strategic Roadmap Initiative was put into place. The current plan was submitted to the BOT for approval in December 2023 and was unanimously approved by the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida in January 2024. 

“I am very happy that we set the target and we did it,” Timur said. “So what I’m really proud of is that once we created this strategic plan, right, every page you turn, what do you see in this […] document? Students. There are no other things, our laser focus is on students.”

As her first school year as president comes to an end, Timur sees the summer as a time to prepare for the upcoming semester. She said she will be busy in terms of preparing budgets, making sure everything is in place for students returning in the fall and planning for how they will execute the next steps in the strategic plan. 

“So summer is more of planning for the next academic year,” she said. “That’s how we use that time. Because when the fall semester hits, we are on the go. And things are happening very quickly.”

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About the Contributors
Abigail Muth
Abigail Muth, Eagle News Editor-in-Chief
Abigail Muth is a senior studying journalism and was a transfer student from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Abbey was born and raised in the Cleveland area and wanted to be a teacher until her sophomore year when she discovered a passion for writing. Her dream job would be to write features or shoot documentaries for companies like National Geographic or Patagonia. Abbey is passionate about the outdoors and traveling and hopes that one day she will be able to incorporate those things into her career. When not editing or writing stories or responding to emails, Abbey can be found reading on her lanai or walking her puppy on the beach!
Jessica Piland
Jessica Piland, Eagle News Photo Editor
Jessica Piland is a senior majoring in political science and minoring in global studies. She found her passion for photography during her senior year of high school after shooting some film for fun with her grandfather’s camera from the 80s. In addition to her work as photo editor for Eagle News, she works as a staff photographer for FGCU Athletics and is a photography intern with the University Marketing and Communications department. As she enters her third year as photo editor, she is excited for the fun stories, campus events, and breaking news that Eagle News will be covering!

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