President William T. Abare, Jr., Ed.D., began his career with Flagler College in 1971 and his position as President of Flagler College in 2001. Prior to assuming his position as the institution’s chief executive officer, President Abare served as the executive vice president and dean of academic affairs for 12 years.
President Abare earned his bachelor's degree from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, his master's degree from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, and his doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale.
President Abare serves as Chairman of the Council of Presidents of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida (ICUF) and prior to assuming this position, he served as Chairman of the ICUF Legislative Committee for seven years. He completed two terms as a member of the board of trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is called upon frequently to chair visiting committees for institutions seeking reaffirmation of accreditation by the regional accrediting body. President Abare was recently honored as the recipient of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges James T. Rogers Distinguished Leadership Award. Named for the former executive director of the Commission on Colleges, the James T. Rogers Distinguished Leadership Award is the highest public recognition given by the Commission and is reserved for extraordinarily distinctive and effective leadership.
In May of 2014, Dr. Abare received the Evelyn Fortune Bartlett Award from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is given to an individual whose life exemplifies the guardianship of Florida’s historic properties through philosophy and actions. Under his leadership, Flagler has spent millions renovating, restoring and preserving the Ponce, as well as other historic college properties.
“This is an honor, not just for me, but for the entire College,” Abare said. “This represents our commitment to preserving historic properties, which is part of our mission. We take that mission very seriously.
More than $50 million has been spent by the college on preservation or adaptation of its 19 historic properties.
President Abare is a past president of the board of directors of the Florida Association of Colleges and Universities (FACU) and is a member of the Council of Independent Colleges and the National Association of Colleges and Universities.
President Abare has been active in professional organizations related to admissions, financial aid, student services, and academic affairs, and he has been involved in state policy matters related to accountability, assessment, articulation, funding of higher education, and student financial aid. He has served as a member of the Higher Education Funding Advisory Council and of the K-20 Accountability Task Force for the Florida Department of Education.