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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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FSU gets rush of last-minute applications for presidency

The search for the next president of Florida State University, widely believed to be lined up in favor of influential state Sen. John Thrasher, drew applications before a Tuesday deadline from a number of academics with extensive resumes.

The university’s 27-member Presidential Advisory Search Committee now will have 39 resumes to weed through during a meeting Friday, as it prepares to call back a shorter list of candidates next week for a first round of interviews.

Among the applicants is Florida State’s interim president, Garnett Stokes.

Some student and faculty groups have repeatedly criticized the search process, raising concerns about Thrasher and pushing for more representation on the search committee.

But a timeline remains for a president to be named Sept. 23 by the university’s Board of Trustees.

Trustee Ed Burr, who also chairs the search committee, said he had yet to review all the resumes but expressed confidence Wednesday that an impressive pool of finalists will be asked to return next week for the initial interviews.

As expected, the number of applications grew during the past week from 22, as last-minute interest came from academics.

Among those whose applications were posted Wednesday on the search committee’s webpage:

♦ Colorado State University System Chancellor Michael Martin

♦ Former Vermont University President Daniel Fogel

♦ University of South Carolina Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Amiridis

♦ Former West Virginia University Provost Michele Wheatly

Thrasher, a former House speaker who is chairman of Gov. Rick Scott’s re-election campaign, said Wednesday he’s refrained from personally speaking with members of the committee and didn’t go to the FSU football team’s season opener Saturday in Texas because he thought it would have been inappropriate while the search is underway.

“I’ve hung in there this long, I’m going to hang in until they tell me I’m not a candidate anymore,” Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, said. “I’m at peace. I’ve been through a lot of these things, elections and that kind of stuff, but what happens, happens. I’m going to give it my best and let the chips fall where they may.”