• Marion Harper

FSU Presidential Search Process

On Sep.11, 2020, John Thrasher announced he will be retiring as President of Florida State University after a six-year term. Currently, the search for a new President is ongoing and Thrasher will remain in his position until a successor is named.

The President of Florida State University is the Chief Executive Officer of the University, making them responsible for the operation and administration of the University. Some specific duties of the President are: preparing budget requests, establishing personnel policies, governing admissions, approving and administering contracts, administering the University’s program of intercollegiate athletics, recommending degree programs, recommending a schedule of tuition and fees, and organizing the University to efficiently and effectively achieve the goals of the leadership.


There are four groups involved in finding the new president: the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, the firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, the Board of Trustees, and the Florida Board of Governors.


The executive search firm, Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, has been contracted to lead the search for the next President in conjunction with the Presidential Search Advisory Committee. The cost of using this firm is $90,000 plus $5,000 in administrative fees.The Presidential Search Advisory Committee has 15 members, as required by the Florida Board of Governors. The members are: Chair Bob Sasser (FSU Board of Trustees Member), Vice Chair Renisha Gibbs (Associate Vice President of Human Resources and Finance), Bridgett Birmingham (Undergraduate Technology and Media Librarian), Caitlyn Blake-Hedges (Deputy Speaker for Finance for the Congress of Graduate Students), Edward E. “Ed” Burr (Chair of the Florida State University Board of Trustees), Joe Camps (Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Board of Directors Member), Andrea K. Friall (Chief Medical Officer at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare), Christian Hall (Student Body Treasurer), Nick Iarossi (Lobbyist, co-founding member of Capital City Consulting), Dazi Lenoir (Vice Chair of the Alumni Association National Board of Directors), Craig Mateer (FSU Board of Trustees Member), DeVoe Moore (Donor: helped establish DeVoe L. Moore Center in the College of Social Sciences, provided numerous endowed scholarships), Leslie Pantin (ex FSU Board of Trustees Member, president of Patin/Berber Silverstein Public Relations), Pam Perrewé (Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor and Haywood and Betty Taylor Eminent Scholar of Business Administration), and Eric Silagy (Florida Board of Governors Member).


The President works with the Board of Trustees, which sets policy for FSU as well as acting as the institution’s legal owner and governing board. There are 13 members on the Board of Trustees: six members appointed by the Governor, five members appointed by the Florida Board of Governors, the Chair of the Faculty Senate, and the President of the Student Body. The Florida Board of Governors oversees the operation and management of the Florida Public University System’s 12 institutions. There are 17 members: 14 are appointed by the Florida Governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate for a seven-year term. The other members are the Chair of the Advisory Council of Faculty Senate, the Commissioner of Education, and the Chair of the Florida Student Association.


The Presidential Search Advisory Committee will work with Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates to develop a position profile, then vet and interview applicants. They will use a majority vote to decide on at least two candidates to submit to the Board of Trustees for consideration. The Board of Trustees will then select final candidates for on-campus meetings with faculty, students, and other stakeholders. Only one candidate is selected for confirmation by the Florida Board of Governors. The final candidate will go to the Florida Board of Governors for an interview and then the Board will consider confirmation of the candidate. For a full overview of the process, read the “Charge to Presidential Search Advisory Committee'' document on the presidential search website. There is no specific timeframe for the presidential search, and the committee has pledged to take as much time as they need to complete a thorough and comprehensive examination of candidates. Currently, there is a draft of the President Position Profile, but it is still being updated and revised. There are no candidate interviews planned at this time.


Students can check for new updates on the search process by visiting FSU’s Presidential Search website. The Presidential Search Advisory Committee meets approximately once a month, with the next meeting on March 23rd at 4 p.m. If you wish to make a public comment you can email lsands@fsu.edu at least 24 hours in advance. Public comments are limited to three minutes. Future meeting dates and public comment opportunities have not been announced. The Sunshine Laws require these committee meetings to have one-week advance notice, be open to the public, and allow the public to comment. During the last week of January, the committee hosted virtual open forums for graduate students, undergraduate students, staff, and faculty to voice what they were looking for in a new university president. The committee has not stated if they will host any more virtual open forums for students.


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