FSU presidential search

FSU Names Sen. John Thrasher As Next President

Sep 23, 2014
Florida Senate

Florida State University has selected Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) as its next president. Many on the FSU Board of Trustees say Thrasher is a proven fundraiser who loves the university.

Thrasher is also chairman of Gov. Rick Scott’s reelection campaign, a post the FSU trustees have asked him to resign immediately. Thrasher’s legislative connections and ability to raise money are what board members cited again and again Tuesday before voting for him 11-to-2.

Man holding "higher education is not a business" sign
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

State Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) remains among the finalists for Florida State University president after the search committee voted Monday. That’s despite overwhelming public opposition to his candidacy at the meeting.

The FSU Board of Trustees plans to interview the four finalists Tuesday morning. At Monday’s meeting, several faculty and students voiced their desire to move forward with only the three candidates who have academic administration experience. The FSU Faculty Senate also voted unanimously to support the three "academic candidates" but not Thrasher.

Richard Marchase speaking Friday at the last of four public forums.
Nick Evans

Over the past week, the four candidates shortlisted to be Florida State University’s next president have met with staff, students and faculty in public forums.  Now it’s up to the presidential search committee and university trustees to pick a winner.  The trustees have set Tuesday as the tentative deadline.

Colorado State University system Chancellor Michael V. Martin.
Colorado State University

Florida State University presidential candidate Michael Martin joined a public forum via Skype Thursday with faculty, students and staff.  Martin couldn’t attend in person because of a medical emergency

Florida State’s four presidential finalists have been attending sessions this week answering questions from the university community. In the third such meeting, Martin called FSU’s Title IX investigation an invitation to be more inclusive.

Wheatly is one of four candidates to be FSU's next president.
West Virginia University

Former West Virginia University provost Michele Wheatly participated in a question and answer session Tuesday as part of Florida State University’s presidential search.  Wheatly is one of four remaining candidates for the position.

FSU’s presidential search has been the subject of criticism for months because of a perceived bias in favor of state Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine).  Wheatly’s reception in Tuesday’s hearings contrasted sharply with the tension in Thrasher’s meetings Monday.  Here’s part of what Wheatly had to say when asked about supporting graduate programs.


As Florida State University nears the final stretch in its search for a new president, a new website has popped up promoting the most controversial candidate—State Senator John Thrasher.

Florida State University’s Faculty Senate is officially opposing Republican State Senator John Thrasher’s bid to be the school’s new president.

The Faculty Senate represents FSU’s nearly 2,000 teachers. Wednesday, in a 2-to-1 vote, it approved a resolution urging the university’s presidential search committee and board of trustees not to recommend Thrasher for the job. Throughout the search process, faculty and students have said Thrasher lacks the academic qualifications listed in the job description.

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.