Faculty members said they had no opportunity to review other candidates for university president
The University of Florida Faculty Senate voted no-confidence in the process by which Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse was named as the only finalist for university president, The Gainesville Sun reported Thursday.
The Faculty Senate held an emergency meeting to vote on the resolution, passing the no-confidence vote 72-16, according to the local paper.
The faculty cited Sasse’s inexperience and the lack of transparency in the selection process.
“The next President should come already equipped to lead an institution of this caliber rather than aiming to learn on the job,” the resolution stated. “Anything less will result in a lack of faith in leadership.”
Even more, “the selection process has prevented the University of Florida Faculty as a whole from being informed about other candidates and their qualifications for the job,” according to the resolution.
“We don’t know anything about [the other candidates] and we have no input in this and no say in it as a faculty as a whole,” Breann Garbas, the Senate member who drafted the motion, told The Gainesville Sun.
Sasse spent five years as president of Midland University in Nebraska prior to being elected to office, according to his Senate bio.
The university announced Sasse as the sole finalist for the presidency on October 6, following a search process “that was conducted largely in secret,” according to The Gainesville Sun.
“The measure followed previous resolutions passed by the United Faculty of Florida union and the UF Student Senate criticizing the choice of Sasse for the job,” according to the paper. Students, faculty and staff have also objected to Sasse for his 2015 expression of “disappointment” following Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court decision that declared a fundamental right to marriage for same-sex couples.
A large group of students stormed a campus building on October 10 to protest Sasse’s selection as the sole presidential candidate, The College Fix reported.
Some candidates wanted their names kept confidential to protect their jobs, UF stated
University of Florida stated that its search committee considered more than 700 people and focused on a dozen candidates, including presidents at major research universities, The Gainesville Sun reported. Lisa Lundy, an agricultural communications professor who served on the search committee, stated that some candidates wanted their names kept confidential to avoid risking their current jobs.
UF spokesperson Steve Orlando also told the paper in an email that an outside consultant told UF that if it planned to select more than one candidate, it would “adversely impact the quality of the prospects that [it] would be able to attract.”
Sasse will likely be approved for the position by the university board on Tuesday, according to Inside Higher Ed.
MORE: GOP Sen. Ben Sasse expected to resign to lead University of Florida
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