FSU Graduate Assistants Demand Prez Search Committee Add 13 Students

Jul 11, 2014

Florida State University's Graduate Assistants United is demanding that thirteen students be added to the Presidential Search Advisory Committee to replace one graduate student seat.
Credit Brandon Wason via Flickr

Florida State University’s Graduate Assistants United, part of the overarching United Faculty of Florida, is calling for the Board of Trustees to add thirteen students to the university’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee to replace the seat of the only graduate student on the committee, who recently resigned due to scheduling difficulties in the fall.

Adding thirteen students would raise the number of committee members to 39 and give students a one-third representation. FSU GAU president Kerr Ballenger says the organization is concerned students are not as well-represented on the committee as outside FSU stakeholders.

We’re simply asking for adequate representation of students on the presidential search committee,” he says. “With over 41,000 students at FSU, three seats is just not enough.”

Ballenger says he would be happy with greater representation on the committee for both students and faculty, who currently hold three and four seats, respectively, on the now 27-person committee.

“In our opinion, one-third students, one-third faculty and staff, and one-third outside members, those numbers would be a good representation,” he says.

Ballenger says he has called for greater student representation during public comment at committee meetings, but the committee chair has not yet officially acknowledged his demands. FSU’s presidential search has also been met with concern from other parties, including the FSU faculty union and the Florida Board of Governors.

Allan Bense, Chair of Florida State University’s Board of Trustees, issued the following statement Friday:

"The Board of Trustees is committed to a process where all constituencies are represented and involved. We appreciate the importance of student participation and want their voices to continue to be heard during the search for a new president."

More information on FSU’s presidential search can be found here.