FSU Students, Faculty Call For Another Presidential Search Reset

Sep 2, 2014

Presidential search committee Chairman Ed Burr talks the importance of choosing a good president in a video on the university's website.
Credit Florida State University

Midnight is the deadline for applications to be Florida State University’s president. The closing date was pushed back amidst outcry from student and faculty groups. Now, the same groups want another reset of the search process.

They include Students for Democratic Society, United Faculty of Florida-FSU Graduate Students United and the FSU Progress Coalition. With nearly 30 applications submitted as of Tuesday afternoon, FSU student Progress Coalition Co-President Jerry Funt says the caliber of applicants isn’t the issue.

“We don’t want a president who is chosen through a search that we feel is undemocratic and untransparent," Funt says.

The university’s search committee expects to choose interviewees by the end of the month. But Funt says that deadline should be pushed back.

“We feel as though inside stakeholders, such as students and faculty and staff, should have more of a say as to what’s going on with the presidential search," he says. 

Funt says FSU Board of Trustees members with business and political ties have had disproportionate sway over the process.

"So the reason we’re all organizing around this and trying to reset the presidential search is because we feel the corporations and politicians’ having 64 percent of the say on the presidential search advisory committee, compared to students and faculty—24 percent—is unacceptable at a public university,” he says.

Presidential applicants include state Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine), state Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D-Tallahassee) and Florida Supreme Court Justice Ricky Polston. 

A call to Presidential Search Committee Chairman Ed Burr's office was not returned by this story's deadline.