Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

FSU Presidential Search nears an end

Gator88NEGator88NE Registered User Posts: 6,164 Senior Member
edited September 2014 in Florida State University
Quick recap of the schedule:
The schedule is:

•Sept. 2 – Application deadline
•Sept. 5 – Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) meeting to discuss candidates and select finalists
•Sept. 8 & 9 – PSAC conducts initial interviews with selected candidates
•Sept. 15-18 – Campus hosts candidates for extensive on-campus interviews
•Sept. 19 – Campus feedback due
•Sept. 22 – PSAC meeting

A new President could be named by Sept 23rd.


Here's a list of applications received to date:


I'm betting some of the most competitive candidates (current University Presidents/Provosts, etc.) will apply on Sept 2, as like Baron, they want to avoid the exposure, unless they feel they have a solid chance at the position.

Who would you like to see apply (and/or be offered the job) on Tuesday? Who do you NOT want to apply (or to be offered the job)?

My picks:

To Apply: Dr. Garnett S. Stokes, President Freeman A. Hrabowski III (current President at UMBC, everyone wants this guy, but he has shown no interest in leaving UMBC), and that Zagby's guy that applied (as a Gator, I can't help but pull for this one!).

Not to Apply: E Gordon Gee, past president at OSU and current president at West Virginia (accepted the job this year at WVU). I can't stand this guy. :)

Replies to: FSU Presidential Search nears an end

  • PasbalPasbal Registered User Posts: 2,000 Senior Member
    Not sure about who I would want to apply, but I've heard enough stories about people that have interacted with Stokes and left questioning why she was working in education and dealing with students regularly when she seemingly hated them. Maybe she'd be a good fit to continue but I don't know.

    I really don't want Thrasher to get the job since it's basically him nearly getting the job with little oversight that started this entire mess. Vasalinda... I've met her a few times through her visiting classes of mine as an undergrad and she always whined about how tough it is to be a Democrat in the state legislature. It got really old really fast. If not getting her way is such a problem, I'm not sure that University President is the right job for her. Overall though I really just don't want a politician.

    I opened a couple of the CVs listed on the search site. Tawanna Hall's had a couple typos and a number of... interesting format choices that made it odd. I did kind of like John O' Neil's CV.

    I'd expect a number of additional applicants to be added, like you said. But so far I'm not sure who from the list would be good. I'd love another person from the EOAS area like Barron, but I know that the odds of that are damn near 0.
  • Gator88NEGator88NE Registered User Posts: 6,164 Senior Member
    "FSU president search heats up"

    Alberto Pimentel, the head hunter helping FSU complete its search, said he knows a number of individuals who have been waiting until Tuesday afternoon to send in their applications, to limit their exposure as a result of Florida’s public records laws.

    FSU interim President Garnett Stokes is among those expected to apply during the final hours of the process.

    We'll know by Wednesday morning who are the additional applicants (maybe earlier due to leaks):
    Pimentel, based in the Los Angeles area, said he probably will wait until Wednesday morning to do a mass posting on FSU’s website of all the candidates who applied on Tuesday.

  • Gator88NEGator88NE Registered User Posts: 6,164 Senior Member
    edited September 2014
    The final applicants have been posted (it's about 39...so about a 1/3 where posted this morning). The names include Garnett Stokes.

    Some names that pop out...

    Michael V. Martin, Chancellor, Colorado State University System


    Richard B. Marchase, Interim President at UAB (very much research focused)


    Several other Vice Presidents, Provost, Deans, etc, have also applied.
    Here is a list of the 12 who applied late Tuesday:

    Michael D. Amiridis: executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at University of South Carolina

    Benjamin C. Baer: assistant controller at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, FSU alum

    Mary R. Douglass: school bus driver and researcher

    Arthur B. Ellis: provost at City University of Hong Kong

    Daniel M. Fogel: former president at University of Vermont

    J. Murray Gibson: founding dean, Northeastern University College of Science

    Richard B. Marchase: vice president for research and economic development, former interim president at the University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Michael V. Martin: chancellor of Colorado State University System

    Kate C. Miller: dean Texas A&M University College of Geosciences

    Behnam Pourbabai: former professor, now works in private sector

    Garnett Stokes: interim president and former provost at Florida State University

    Michele G. Wheatly: recently stepped down as provost and vice president academic affairs at West Virginia University

  • PasbalPasbal Registered User Posts: 2,000 Senior Member
    A lot of interesting names. At this juncture of everything, I really don't think that Thrasher is getting the job now. I think there's too many academic-focused applicants for a politician to get the job. Of course, I'm not on the search committee, so what I think is probably not what they will do.

    I like both the Colorado State and UAB people. Some of these applicants you have to read the resumes and just go "wait, you don't really think you're getting this, do you?"
  • Gator88NEGator88NE Registered User Posts: 6,164 Senior Member
    Flashback! A comparison with the last job search in 2009. These where the final 3 candidates:
    Eric Barron — director, National Center for Atmospheric Research (2008-present). Previously served as dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin (2006-2008); dean, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Pennsylvania State University (2002-2006); and professor of geosciences, Pennsylvania State University. (1989); Received his bachelor's degree in geology from Florida State in 1973.

    Kevin Bedell — vice provost for research (2006-present) and John H. Rourke Professor of Physics (1999-present), Boston College. Formerly served as an adjunct faculty member in the Florida State University Department of Physics (1991-1995). Has been a fellow of the American Physical Society since 1993.

    Steven Leath — vice president for research and sponsored programs, University of North Carolina (2007-present). Previously served as associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of North Carolina (2005-2007); interim associate dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of North Carolina (2003-2005); and director of the North Carolina Agricultural Research Service (2003-2007).

    I'm surprised at the lack of current university/college presidents applying for the role. Why wouldn't the presidents at a directional school (UCF, East Michigan, Georgia Southern), or less prestigious (and lower paying) school apply? I wonder if Florida's sunshine laws have anything to do with it? Barron was able to apply for the PSU job, without it being known. Would the President of Utah State have applied, if his application could have been kept confidential?
  • PasbalPasbal Registered User Posts: 2,000 Senior Member
    I'm surprised as well that there doesn't seem to be too many high-caliber names. I haven't reviewed every CV with a fine-toothed comb, but from the looks of it I'm actually almost depressed about a number of the applicants.

    A lot of them have connections to for-profit universities, which I'm not ecstatic about. Diploma mills and for-profit universities are an entirely different ballgame than a school like FSU. Not to mention that most of the for-profits have ticked off the government in some way; I'd be wary of anyone associated with one of the universities that have been investigated for basically scamming their students.

    I'm interested in seeing who makes it through the first round of cuts. I figure it's probably going to come down to Stokes, the CSU Chancellor, and a couple others. I don't know if Stokes will get the job just because her getting it would mean we'd do this all over again to fill her vacancy (not to mention, she sounded as if she really didn't want the job in an interview I saw this morning, saying something like "I wasn't sure I wanted to apply").

    I do believe that Sunshine Laws are keeping people from applying. I've heard that tossed around before when it came to different appointments, so I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.
  • Gator88NEGator88NE Registered User Posts: 6,164 Senior Member
    edited September 2014
    Updates! (as of 1:15pm 9/5/14):
    FSU Presidential Search Meeting Interrupted by Protests

    A meeting to choose the finalists in the search for Florida State University's next president has resumed following an interruption by protesters this morning.
    The consultant did name Senator John Thrasher as one of the recommended candidates. The consultant said that Thrasher has strong leadership abilities as well as extensive knowledge of FSU and the state of Florida.

    Interim president Garnett Stokes was also recommended for what the consultant described as creativity and energy.


    EDIT: Another update!
    September 5, 2014 2:30 p.m.

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The FSU presidential search committee has chosen 11 finalists for the position.

    FSU Presidential Search Finalists:

    Michael Amiridis

    Arthur Ellis

    Daniel Fogel

    Murray Gibson

    John Paul Jones III

    Richard Marchase

    Michael Martin

    Kate Miller

    Garnett Stokes

    John Thrasher

    Michele Wheatly

    The committee will meet at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, September 8. The first interview will begin at 8:30 a.m.. Interviews will be held Monday and Tuesday. A specific schedule of interviews is said to be in the works.

    The bus driver didn't make the list :(

    Final Edit!

    Just want to say, if this had been in Gainesville, we would have TASED those protesters! >:)
  • PasbalPasbal Registered User Posts: 2,000 Senior Member
    Going through the list of selected candidates, I like basically everyone that they picked. I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple people that were also great candidates (the bus driver doing research sounded like she'd be a fascinating pick).

    There's really no candidates that made the cut (except maybe Thrasher) that seem like a terrible idea. I'll give the search committee a lot of credit there, because I really expected them to screw this up.
  • Gator88NEGator88NE Registered User Posts: 6,164 Senior Member
    Updates on the first day's interviews!

    Most observers agreed that Michael Martin, chancellor of the Colorado State University system and a former president at New Mexico State University; Michael Amiridis, provost at University of South Carolina; and Arthur Ellis, provost at City University of Hong Kong, stood out during Monday's interviews. Dan Fogel, a veteran at Louisiana State University who was president at University of Vermont and now teaches English at that school, also made a strong case for being considered.

    Seems the faculty may be particularly happy with this group of candidates (that don't including anyone named Thrasher).
    Gary Tyson, FSU's Faculty Senate president, sought out head hunter Alberto Pimentel following Monday's interviews to praise him for gathering a strong group of semifinalists to succeed Eric Barron, who was hired away from FSU by Penn State in February. Trustee Ed Burr, who chairs the search committee, also had praise for Pimentel. He believes the university will be able to maintain the ambitious timetable it established in late June for hiring a president on Sept. 23.
  • PasbalPasbal Registered User Posts: 2,000 Senior Member
    In talking with a few friends about this, we think we've nailed down why Thrasher, who quite honestly doesn't seem to belong in that group of finalists, was selected: It's a thank you to him for all that he's done for FSU.

    That said, I'm glad to hear that a couple of my favorite candidates had strong showings during their interviews Monday. Here's to hoping that Thrasher's interview goes poorly so that they can't possibly keep him (it sounds horrible, but...).
  • lizardlizard Registered User Posts: 3,410 Senior Member
    Funny how things end up working out sometimes. FSU will probably have some cocktail receptions for president candidates where trustees and their spouses will get together with candidates and their spouses. The trustees' spouses will size up candidates and their spouses....then the trustees' spouses (wives) will tell their trustee husbands whom to hire for FSU president job! :)
  • Gator88NEGator88NE Registered User Posts: 6,164 Senior Member
    No Stokes...
    Powerful state Sen. John Thrasher has advanced to the next stage of FSU's search for a new president, but interim FSU President Garnett Stokes did not make the final four.

    Michael Martin, the chancellor of the Colorado State University system, Michael Marchase, vice president for research at University of Alabama-Birmingham and Michele Wheatly, former provost at West Virginia are the other four advancing to next week's on campus interviews.

    The FSU Board of Trustees is scheduled to hire a new president on Sept. 23.

  • PasbalPasbal Registered User Posts: 2,000 Senior Member
    Ugh. Well, I guess the search committee will have to deal with massive student riots all across campus if they seriously go through with Thrasher. It really should have been obvious from the start that a pick of Thrasher was a bad idea, but alas...

    I do like that Martin made it through. At least 3 of the 4 are good picks (though I don't like Wheatly as much as I liked Martin and Marchase).
  • PasbalPasbal Registered User Posts: 2,000 Senior Member
    All 4 of the candidates have been sent to the Board of Trustees. Joy.
    By: Lanetra Bennett
    September 22, 2014

    Tallahassee, FL - FSU's Board of Trustees could name a new president as soon as Tuesday. A search committee agreed on the list of finalists Monday without scratching off any names.

    Lakey, an FSU Ph.D. Student and university employee was among several students and faculty to advocate for Florida Senator John Thrasher's name to be removed from the final candidate list. In response to the failed efforts, Lakey says "We are actually not surprised at all. It does seem like corruption is where FSU is at this point."

    The motion passed with 19 committee members in favor of the motion for Senator Thrasher to be considered for FSU's next president. The other candidates: Michele Wheatly, Richard Marchase, and Michael Martin, will also be passed on to the FSU Board Trustees for final interviews.

    Protesters and others who don't agree with Thrasher's candidacy say the other three candidates are more qualified because Thrasher does not have a background in academics.

    Before the vote, committee member and faculty member, Dr. Eric Walker, said, "I can't in good conscience--I think it would be a form of irresponsibility. I think it would even be a form of professional malpractice for me to send all four of these forward."

    Community feedback from an online survey gave Thrasher an eleven percent overall rating when it comes to being qualified to run FSU.

    Lakey says, "With 87 percent saying that he failed. Still the presidential search advisory committee forwards him on. It's clear they're not listening to the students."

    FSU student Jerry Funt says, "I feel ignored. I feel voiceless. I feel ashamed to be at FSU right now. My love for the university has never faltered, my expectations that the university would do good has never really taken as much as a hit as this."

    The Board of Trustees will interview each of the four candidates Tuesday, starting at 8 a.m. A new president could be chosen by the end of the day.

    Well, my theories for Thrasher being included have all been ruined. If he wins... I'll be very disappointed. All of the work put in over the last few years will be for naught. I don't think the faculty and staff will stick around. We're ranked #20 by Forbes as a good university to work for (I'll try to find that link again) but I don't see that lasting.
  • Gator88NEGator88NE Registered User Posts: 6,164 Senior Member
    Well, my theories for Thrasher being included have all been ruined. If he wins... I'll be very disappointed. All of the work put in over the last few years will be for naught. I don't think the faculty and staff will stick around. We're ranked #20 by Forbes as a good university to work for (I'll try to find that link again) but I don't see that lasting.


    Why do you think he'll run off faculty and staff? IF he's selected, he's likely to be president for only a few years (he turns 71, later this year), and he'll be focused on generating revenue (building stuff and increasing faculty pay). He's likely not to be that involved with academic governance, letting the Provost act as the COE. Check out the FSU Org chart.


    The President only has one direct report, the Provost. All of the Sr VP's report to the Provost.

    This wouldn't be the first time a "none" academic took on the role at a major university. If Thrasher was a liberal, out campaigning against the evil Koch brothers, would he be getting as much push back from the faculty (and a rather small group of activist students)?

    Personally, I like at least two of the other candidates for the job, and I think Thrasher's nomination has been poisoned, and for that reason he's not the best selection. Even if another candidate is chosen, it's not in FSU's best interest to publicly criticize or condemn Sen.Thrasher (or he's allies in the state legislature). Funding to expand the FAMU-FSU college of engineering can easily be turned into funding to expand UCF's or USF's COE.
This discussion has been closed.