AT&T's Criser rumored front-runner for chancellor post
Even under the speedy timetable outlined by the search committee, it's still early in the process for finding a new state university system leader. But Florida AT&T President Marshall Criser III's name is coming up most often during whispered conversations about the job and who may apply.
Criser, who lives in Coral Gables, declined to speak with the Times/Herald Monday. Board of Governors spokeswoman Kim Wilmath said eight applications and a number of inquires have been fielded already, but declined to identify Criser specifically.
"The pool of applications already includes a wide range of individuals with experience in higher education, business and government," she said via email. "As is the case with high profile searches, we expect the bulk of the applications to come in as we get closer to the October deadline."
Several folks with knowledge of the process say Criser is the man to beat, though they are still keeping an open mind that an even stronger candidate could surface before Oct. 31.
Criser has worked for AT&T or one of its predecessor companies his entire career. He was appointed to the University of Florida Board of Trustees in 2010 and also is a member of the Scripps Research Institute board. Criser also serves on the state's Higher Education Coordinating Council and the board of Miami-Dade College's Foundation.
He earned a bachelor's in business administration from UF in 1980 and later completed some management training in France. The lack of any advanced degree is the one dark spot on his resume and could lead to lukewarm support from university professors and faculty members.