Anthony Catanese

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Anthony J. Catanese
Dr. Anthony J. Catanese
President, Florida Institute of Technology
Term 2002 –
Predecessor Lynn E. Weaver
Successor Incumbent
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Madison
Residence Melbourne, Florida

Dr. Anthony James Catanese is a university administrator, author, and the President of the Florida Institute of Technology located in Melbourne, Florida, U.S.. Florida Tech emphasizes academic and research programs in engineering, the sciences, liberal arts, business, psychology and aeronautics. It has a major distance-learning program using advanced technology. Such groups as the Carnegie Foundation and U.S. News & World Report rate it amongst America’s top universities.

Dr. Catanese was previously president of Florida Atlantic University, which grew to 25,000 students on seven campuses during his leadership tenure. During this time, three dozen new degree programs were introduced and the Owls-including a football team that made its debut in 2001--began competing in Division I of the NCAA. He was the prime architect of a 12-year period of unprecedented growth that transformed FAU from a small commuter school to a large, comprehensive regional university. He presided over the university's first capital campaign, which brought in $199 million in donations and pledges from private sources--close to double its original goal.

He was the provost of Pratt Institute in New York City, dean of the College of Architecture at the University of Florida, dean of the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, associate dean of the School of Engineering and Environmental Design and James A. Ryder Professor at the University of Miami, and professor and director of the Center for Planning and Development at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Catanese also was a Senior Fulbright Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, a master’s degree from New York University and a doctoral degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. A prolific writer, he has published 13 books, 18 chapters in books and more than 100 articles and monographs.

A member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Dr. Catanese previously maintained a private practice in design, planning and development. His consulting contracts numbered over 50 clients, including coastal zone planning and development in Hawaii and native land claims in Alaska. As a developer, he built several projects for the single- and multi-family markets in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Catanese has been a public servant as well. He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the National Urban Policy Task Force. He served as chair of the Milwaukee City Planning Board and the Gainesville City Planning Commission.

Dr. Catanese is the chairman of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, which represents 28 private institutions in the state. He is immediate past chairman of the board of the United Way of Brevard. He is also the immediate past president of the Sunshine State Athletics Conference.

Dr. Catanese was president of the Park West Development Corporation, a not-for-profit group that planned and developed a major area in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the founding president of the Florida State University Presidents Association. He also served as president or chair of the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities, Florida Campus Compact and Atlantic Sun Athletics Conference. He has served on numerous boards, including the National Collegiate Athletics Association, Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida, John Cabot University (Rome), Orange Bowl Committee, AvMed (South Florida), Wachovia Bank (Florida), and Modus Operandi Inc.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, the most recent of which include the Chief Executive Leadership Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Trailblazer Award from Rotary International, Diversity Champion Award from the Urban League, Outstanding College President’s Award from the All-American Football Foundation, Golden Eagle Award from the Boy Scouts of America and the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame.[1]


Dr. Catanese is a graduate of Rutgers University, where he earned a degree in Urban and Regional Planning. He holds a Master's Degree in Urban Planning from New York University, and achieved his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the same field. Catanese was also a Senior Fulbright Professor in Bogotá, Colombia.

University administration[edit]

Catanese has held a number of notable positions in academia, including:

In addition to the positions he has held in academia, he has written 13 books and 125 articles, primarily on urban planning and development.[2]


While at FAU, he led its first capital campaign which resulted in donations totaling $225 million. In 2006, he headed the United Way Campaign in Brevard County, Florida which set a record of 6.15 million dollars in donations, donning him the nickname $6 million man.

Public Service[edit]

  • Chairman, United Way of Brevard County 1006
  • Chair of Board of Directors, United way of Brevard County 2008
  • Co-chairman, Florida Compass Compact
  • Executive Committee, Central Florida Partnership
  • Executive Committee, Florida Association of Colleges and Universities
  • Chairman, Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida 2010-2012
  • Member, Central Florida Transportation Task Force
  • Board of Directors, King Center, Melbourne, Florida
  • Trustee of the Florida Independent Colleges Fund

Corvette scandal[edit]

After leaving Florida Atlantic University in 2002, it was disclosed that a $42,000 red Corvette had been purchased by the FAU Foundation for Catanese as a going away present. The car was purchased using funds donated to the foundation by the top leaders of the group. The funds were diverted through an interior designer in order to buy Catanese a car.[3] This disclosure resulted in an investigation, and charges being filed against the foundation director, Carla Coleman, who later pleaded to a misdemeanor of falsifying records. Catanese ultimately returned the car, and was never charged with any crime.[4]


  • President, Sunshine State Conference, an NCAA Multi-Sport Conference 2007-2009
  • Past President, Atlantic Sun Conference, an NCAA Multi-Sport Conference
  • 2009 Disney Marathon Finisher (his 32nd marathon)


  • Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners
  • Brevard County Economic Development Commission Proclamation Acknowledging Excellence in Economic Development 2010
  • Inducted into Junior Achievement of the Space Coast Hall of Fame 2010
  • Chief Executive Leadership Awards
  • Council for Advancement and Support of Education
  • Trailblazer Award, Rotary Club
  • Diversity Champion Award, Urban League
  • Outstanding President Award, All-American Football Foundation
  • Golden Eagle Award, Boy Scouts
  • Dad Vail Regatta President's Award 2010
  • Thomas E. Gamble Award for Excellence in Economic Development 2009


  1. ^ "Anthony James Catanese bio. page". 
  2. ^ "Modus Operandi Board of Directors". Modus Operandi, Inc. Archived from the original on 30 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-31. [dead link]
  3. ^ Bandell, Brian (2003-08-22). "Guggenheim to resign from FAU Foundation". Boca Raton News. & South Florida Media Group, Inc. Retrieved 2006-12-31. 
  4. ^ Fain, Paul. "Former President of Florida Atlantic U. Trades in His Scandalous Corvette". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2006-12-31. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Helen Popovich
President of Florida Atlantic University
1990 –2002
Succeeded by
Frank T. Brogan
Preceded by
Lynn E. Weaver
President of the Florida Institute of Technology
2002 –
Succeeded by