Historic City News has learned that the Florida Board of Governors is only a few days off from seeing the final list of applicants for the top job of running the state university system.
Rep. William Proctor, who chairs the House’s higher education budget committee, said he would like to see a candidate who knows his or her way around a big university system and also has considerable political skill.
The Legislature and Board of Governors have largely been at odds over the past few years. And this year, the university system has been desperate for funds, with several universities announcing layoffs and program cuts for the upcoming academic year.
A candidate who already runs a large university or helps run a university would be ideal, Proctor said.
“I think ideally you need both (political and academic credentials),” Proctor said. “I think all of the higher education system is in such a turbulent state that you really need someone who needs both. I don’t know that you can afford to do on the job training.”
The 13- member search committee will meet by phone conference on July 13 to finalize the list of people they want to interview. The interviews will take place on July 17 and the full board will meet by phone following the interviews for a final vote on the new chancellor.
Kathleen Haughney, with The News Service of Florida, reported that Committee chair Carolyn Roberts has said that the board is looking for someone who can strike the right balance of academic credentials and political savvy.
It appeared as though former Senate President Jim King was a likely candidate, however, King had to drop out after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and Roberts acknowledged that slowed the process.
So far, the Board of Govenrors has seen 10 applications for the chancellorship, a job vacated by new Florida International University President Mark Rosenberg earlier this year. University of North Florida President John Delaney has been working as chancellor in an interim capacity but is not interested in pursuing the job full time.
The Board received eight applications through an open process earlier this year. And a consultant sent two additional names to the board this week.
The previously released eight applicants for the job that have been made public so far include M.T. Attaf, professor at the University of Quebec; Steve Hoagland, research consultant at the University of California-Irvine; Larry Lemanski, senior vice president for research at Temple University; Steve MacNamara, associate professor at Florida State; Preston Mercer, professor at University of South Florida Polytechnic; Simon Priest, acting president of Marco Polo International University; Chris Sliwa, associate professor at Fayetteville State University; Bernard Weiss, former faculty member at Southern University.
The board released two additional names Tuesday – Richard Berman, president of Manhattanville College in New York, and Jesse Balseiro, a doctor and former Louisiana State University department chair who now works as a radiology consultant.
The board’s consultant is expected to provide additional applications to the board by the end of the week. Florida Atlantic University President Frank Brogan, who resigned his spot on the chancellor search committee, is widely expected to apply.