Kenneth G. Furton was appointed Provost and Executive Vice President of Florida International University in July 2014. He is a leading scholar in forensic chemistry, specializing in scent detection, Dr. Furton has spent over 25 years at FIU. He was appointed the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2007, where he transformed the university’s largest college into three mission-based interdisciplinary schools to explore and address some of the biggest issues facing society today. During his tenure, the college of Arts and Sciences raised over $41 million in philanthropic gifts and saw its research grants funding increase from $27 million to $60 million annually. Notably, Dr. Furton chaired the iREAL (integrating Research, Engagement, Assessment and Learning) Commission as Dean of the College to develop the vision paper that will inform FIU’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan.
Having started at FIU in 1988 as an assistant professor in chemistry, Dr. Furton in 1997 founded FIU’s International Forensic Research Institute (IFRI), which is globally recognized as one of the premier research and teaching institutes on forensic science. He subsequently served as associate dean of budget, facilities and research and remains director emeritus at IFRI, where he continues to be active, directing research of 14 graduate and undergraduate students, publishing seven papers and book chapters and filing two patents in the 2013 academic year.
Dr. Furton earned a B.S. in Forensic Science at the University of Central Florida in 1983, a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry at Wayne State University in 1986 and completed post-doctoral studies in Nuclear Chemistry at the University of Wales, Swansea, and U.K in 1988. His expertise has led him to serve in numerous local, national and international professional organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Scientific Working Group on Dog and Orthogonal Detector Guidelines, of which he is currently chair.
Deeply committed to the academy, Dr. Furton is the author or co-author of more than 700 publications and presentations. His research projects have been continuously funded for more than two decades, totaling more than $10 million in external funding. He has shared his expertise in forensic science through hundreds of invited talks nationally and internationally and has testified as an expert witness in dozens of state and federal trials.
Dr. Furton and his wife of 24 years, Debby, reside in the Redland agricultural community of South Florida. In the Fall of 2013, their children, Courtney and Robert, enrolled as incoming freshman at FIU.