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FSU Presidential Candidate Michele Wheatly Gets Warm Reception

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.

“I mentioned that I was once a penniless graduate student myself,” Wheatly says, “but that’s no reason to exploit others.  I mean we clearly – as a civilized society – we need to recognize the contributions of all.”

And attendees like Associate Professor Ned Stuckey-French felt the difference.

“Y’know this was night and day, I think, between yesterday and today,” Stuckey-French says. “Yesterday it was just, well I’m a Nole.  I bleed garnet and gold, so I will listen to you, even though I’ve not listened to you for 20 years, I will now.  You know it was like being a Nole meant I didn’t need to speak to your questions, whereas today, she was speaking to our questions.”

Question and answer sessions will continue Friday with Richard Marchase.  The fourth candidate, Michael Martin, was scheduled to hold similar sessions Wednesday, but had to have emergency surgery.  The search committee expects to reschedule his forum.