With Thrasher At Helm, FSU Positioned For Productive Session

Jan 4, 2017

A two year lobbying ban on Florida State University President John Thrasher is up, freeing him to capitalize on his political ties, meaning university priorities could get special attention this legislative session.

Florida State University President John Thrasher.
Credit Florida State University Office of the President / http://president.fsu.edu/

President John Thrasher casts a long shadow on Florida politics: he served in the legislature as Speaker of the House, then state senator, and chaired the Florida Republican Party. This legislative session, Thrasher will finally be able to do what supporters say he does best: working his political connections and raising money. In a state of the university address, Thrasher said he’s optimistic his requests will be granted.

“So we’re going to be requesting $70 million from the legislature to hire more faculty, especially in strategic areas of research. We’re going to try to improve our student faculty ratio, which needs to come down, and retain certainly our great faculty that we have,” Thrasher said.

Thrasher may be able to find common ground with state lawmakers. One of Senate President Joe Negron’s top priorities is strengthening Florida’s higher education system.

“With the legislative leadership signaling to us that they are interested in lifting up higher education in Florida, I feel optimistic about the coming year and the coming legislative session,” Thrasher said.

FSU initially hired Thrasher in part for his political ties, passing over candidates with academic experience.