Florida State University

Florida State University

Two of the most prominent candidates hoping to lead Florida State University, state Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) and FSU Interim President Garnett Stokes took their turns in front of the presidential search committee Tuesday. But one of them hasn’t made it to the final list.

Florida State University

Florida State University has backslid slightly in its quest to break into the highest national university rankings.

U.S. News and World Report has released its latest list of top schools. Florida State slid three places to number 43 among all public universities. It’s been trying to break into the Top 25 schools on the list for some years now. In a release, FSU downplayed the slide, with interim President Garnett Stokes saying, “long-term investments we are making should be reflected in the U.S. News & World Report rankings in the coming years.”   


Florida State University’s search for a new leader is reaching its midpoint. The Presidential search committee has selected nearly a dozen finalists to interview for the job,  including­­­­­­­­­­­­­ current FSU Interim President Garnett Stokes and Florida State Senator John Thrasher. But  before any finalists were named, the committee had to take a break due to student protests.

When Florida State University started its search for a new president in February, search committee chairman Ed Burr promised an open, transparent process.

Marching Chiefs stretching at practice.
Nick Evans

Football in Tallahassee isn’t just a popular sport, it’s woven into the city’s culture.  The season begins Saturday, Aug. 30, but it’s not just football players scrambling to prepare.  Florida State University’s marching band, The Marching Chiefs, are working hard to get ready for the game day as well.

macguys via Flickr

The National Science Foundation has awarded three professors from Florida A&M University a $100,000 grant. They plan to use the money on an interdisciplinary research project at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

The project, called “EAGER: Magnetic Interrogation of Mesoscale Materials,” involves three studies, including research on clean energy production and efforts to decrease U.S. dependency on foreign imports. FAMU physics Professor Mogus Mochena co-wrote the project proposal and says the research will draw from a number of scientific fields.


Students at the Florida State University Center for Intensive English Studies are mourning the loss of their classmate after his drowning on Saturday. Nineteen-year-old Saud Alajmi had returned to the Chipola River with a handful of classmates  a day after a school-sponsored tubing trip there. 

parking space
Benny Lin Via Flickr

A new development has been unveiled in the Doak Campbell Stadium disability parking situation.

Remember Gordon Palmer? Well the Tallahassee attorney, FSU Football fan, and wheel-chair user spoke with Tallahassee Democrat and WFSU last month about Florida State University plans to move all disability parking spaces away from the football stadium to a parking garage around 300 yards away, save for a few disability spaces for boosters.  Now there has been a change in the university’s policy and Palmer believes it is because of the backlash.

Florida State University

What should the connection be between politically partisan donors and the universities they help support? 

At recent hearings of Florida State University’s Presidential Search Committee, an old complaint has once again reared up—one aimed squarely at a prominent political and financial donor. Ralph Wilson, with the FSU Progress Coalition, points to the Koch brothers. 

Doak Campbell Stadium

Controversy surrounds FSU’s recent decision to move its disability parking at Doak Campbell Stadium. 

In a letter sent out on May 19, FSU announced, starting this fall, all disability parking spaces would be moved to a garage 300 yards  away from the stadium.  The current parking spaces are on Stadium Drive, located just outside the stadium’s entrance gates. 

Some patrons with disabilities who attend FSU football games are outraged at this change.

Alberto Pimentel
Matthew Stolpe / WFSU News

Faculty and students gave input this week on FSU’s presidential search. New consultant Alberto Pimentel, a partner with the search firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, met with them after faculty voted no confidence in the previous one.

Pimentel used Tuesday and Wednesday’s open forums to assure FSU staff that the recruiting process would be open and transparent. According to him, few of the presidential candidates moving forward will have backgrounds outside of academia.

FSU Presidential Search Committee Approves New Timeline

Jun 20, 2014

The Florida State University Presidential Search Advisory Committee is taking steps to refine its search process. The committee held its first meeting Friday with new search firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates.

Capital Report: 06-13-2014

Jun 13, 2014

Governor Rick Scott recently signed the so-called Immigrant Tuition bill into law that would grant in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants. Since near the end of Session, Scott has been touting the legislation and even did a week-long tour this week. While it’s publicized more as a Hispanic win, Sascha Cordner reports on other segments of the immigrant population who will be also affected by the new law.

Students attending Wednesday's presidential search committee meeting.
Nick Evans

It’s no secret Florida State University’s presidential search has put a bitter taste in the mouths of many students, faculty, and alumni.   Several of these stakeholders made their voices heard at Wednesday’s presidential search committee meeting.

Some, like FSU student John Emanuello, followed the procedures, using the public comment time to call for a reset in the presidential search.

“Now’s the time to take a step back and revaluate and reassess how the search has gone and where it should go in the future,” Emanuello says.

Florida State University’s presidential search committee is hiring a new firm to find a leader for the school. The move comes after the presidential search consultant quit amid accusations from students and faculty that the process had been rigged.

Bill Funk resigned as FSU’s search consultant Monday, even after Ed Burr, chairman of the university’s search committee says he tried to get Funk to stay. The search committee will now hire a new firm to lead its presidential search in a move Burr calls a compromise with the faculty and students who have opposed the process:

FSU Presidential Search Consultant Resigns

Jun 9, 2014

Bill Funk, the consultant hired to head the search for Florida State University's next president, has resigned, according to FSU spokespeople. 

Ed Burr, chair of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, released this statement Monday afternoon:

Florida State University

The Florida State University Faculty Senate declared "no confidence" in FSU Presidential Search Advisory committee consultant Bill Funk at its meeting Wednesday night. The Senate believes strong academic leadership and credentials are key qualities for a president who will push FSU into the top 25 public universities – qualities they believe Funk deems less important than FSU loyalty.

FSU Faculty Senator Michael Buchler says he believes Funk doesn’t have the presidential search committee’s best interests in mind.

As Florida State University continues its search for a new president many faculty and observers are crying foul over the process.

Faculty union president  Jennifer Proffitt says the search committee agreed on getting a president with strong academic credentials, but it is not panning out that way.

“Search committees/search firms set deadlines so that people know when they can apply by and that wasn’t done. And the criteria the search committee voted on in April wasn’t followed and that’s the big concern by the faculty," she says.

Michelle Rehwinkle Vasilinda / facebook.com

Tallahassee State Representative Michelle Rehwinkle-Vasilinda says she’s concerned the press isn’t taking her bid to be Florida State University President seriously. Vasilinda is the second state lawmaker in the pool for FSU’s top job, and she’s taking aim at the front-runner, a powerful state senator with many political ties.

Vasilinda’s resume consists of decades in higher education, the creation of various classes at Florida State and her primary employer Tallahassee Community College—not to mention her work as a lawmaker with strong ties to the local community:

Florida State University has released the names of applicants for its open presidency position. The list is notable for whose resume still isn’t on it—the presumed front runner, Florida state Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine).

FSU search consultant Bill Funk told the search committee Thrasher had been nominated several times, but only one nomination letter, from former FSU President Sandy D’Alemberte, has been released. Thrasher has said he’ll submit his resume during his June 11 interview.

Florida Senate

State Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) says he’s looking forward to addressing the concerns of Florida State University faculty and students when he interviews for the school's top job.

Thrasher has risen to the top of a slim list of candidates in a presidential search process  many on the university’s search committee agree is unusual. The decision to interview Thrasher is controversial because of his political ties and how the search process has gone. The first thing Thrasher will have to address is why he never formally applied for the position.

Florida Senate

Update 7:oo p.m.: Bill Funk has been called the “guru of higher education recruiting” by the Chronicle of Higher Education, and Florida State University has hired him to help find a new president. But Wednesday he told the university’s search committee the task has been made more complicated by the candidacy of Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine. 

“To be in the public with someone who cast such a long shadow over the process, really limited the interest of these individuals,” said Funk.

LHatter / WFSU News

When it comes to softball, Tallahassee’s higher education institutions are on a roll. Florida A&M, Florida State and Tallahassee Community College’s women’s teams are all heading to playoffs, giving the Capital City something to cheer about.

seminoles.com / Florida State University

During last weekend’s annual NFL draft nearly a dozen Florida State football players were snapped up by pro teams. With a couple FAMU players also getting a shot, Tallahassee schools could get more representation in the NFL.

Ads Warn Of 'Rape Problem' At Florida State University

May 7, 2014

Advertisements warning of a so-called “rape problem” at Florida State University are popping up online when prospective students search for information about the school. The group behind the campaign says the goal is pressuring colleges to adopt White House rape prevention guidelines.

marsmettn / flickr.com

One of Florida State University’s biggest athletic stars may also be one of the school’s biggest liabilities. The federal government is now probing the school’s handling of sexual assault and harassment allegations against Jameis Winston—using a portion of federal law traditionally governing equal access in sports.