Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Friends, colleagues write letters to promote Rick Baker for SPC presidency

ST. PETERSBURG — No one knows who St. Petersburg College's next president will be, but we do know this:

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker really wants the job.

Baker, who has a little more than a month left in his second and final term, has been working until 1 a.m. some nights on his application for the college's top job, he said this week.

He's also seeking out the help of friends and colleagues, who have begun a letter-writing campaign to support his candidacy.

Baker, who said supporters came forward as they heard about his prospective candidacy, has even asked a political consultant to help coordinate the letters.

Nick Hansen, who was campaign manager for mayoral candidate Deveron Gibbons, has been collecting and organizing the letters. Baker says he plans to turn the letters in as part of his application, which is due Monday. He declined to say who has written letters of support, or who provided references.

"I want to work hard to demonstrate that I'm capable of doing this," Baker said. "I'm spending a considerable amount of time on the resume and application and everything that goes along with it.

"But I recognize it's up to the board (of trustees)."

About 20 people already have applied for the college's top job, which is available because current president Carl Kuttler is retiring. Kuttler has been the school's president since 1978. College trustees say they hope to have permanent successor chosen by spring.

Among the current field of applicants — which is sure to expand over the weekend — is only one current college president, and no one currently working in the Tampa Bay area.

Most of the applicants are mid- or high-level administrators at community colleges across the country.

One applicant, Richard Federinko, is a senior vice chancellor at Troy University, a four-year school in Alabama. Federinko also has been a community or junior college president three times, and received his Ph.D. in higher education from Florida State University.

For Baker, the St. Petersburg College application is the first job application he's filled out since his second year of law school.

Bob McIntyre, past chairman of the Pinellas Education Foundation, wrote friends and colleagues recently, asking them to endorse Baker.

"I am supporting Rick Baker because he has been a great leader for our community," McIntyre wrote in an e-mail. "Rick Baker's record as a fiscally responsible mayor, his unparalleled involvement as the 'Education Mayor,' his ability for raising money for education, his doctorate of law degree and his many years as a successful businessman make him the ideal candidate for the Presidency of St. Petersburg College."

McIntyre then included talking points for people writing on Baker's behalf. The talking points stress Baker's ability to raise money privately and from state and federal sources, and his leadership experience in government, business and the community.

"The college requires a leader that not only understands the academic needs of our community," McIntyre wrote, "but more importantly, a leader who has the business acumen and experience of managing a large budget."

Friends, colleagues write letters to promote Rick Baker for SPC presidency 11/27/09 [Last modified: Friday, November 27, 2009 10:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after:Matt Andriese trying to put good finish on injury-marred season


    RHP Matt Andriese can't make up for the 2 1/2 months he missed due to a hip injury this season after getting off to a solid 5-1, 3.54 start.

    But he can use his last few outings to remind the Rays, and himself, of how good he can be.
    He did it the hard way Thursday, allowing three runs as four of the …

  2. Trigaux: Tampa Bay household income tops $50,000 but still makes us look poor

    Personal Finance

    The good news is Tampa Bay's median household income finally crawled above $50,000 last year. The bad news is that figure — officially $51,115 by new U.S. Census Bureau data — still puts the Tampa Bay region as the poorest of the nation's 25 largest metro areas.

    Tampa Bay still has the lowest median household income among the 25 most populous metro areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
  3. Oh, Florida! Irma's gone, but she left behind plenty of lessons for us


    I don't want to make light of the misery and death that Hurricane Irma inflicted on Florida this month. A lot of it was ugly, and some of it was downright criminal. We saw greed and pettiness on …

    A Fort Myers woman who'd recently undergone a double-organ transplant painted a sign that said, "HOT SINGLE FEMALE SEEKS SEXY LINEMAN TO ELECTRIFY HER LIFE" and sure enough, she got her power turned back on. [Photo from video]
  4. Florida education news: Makeup days, accountability, charter schools and more


    MAKEUP DAYS: The Pasco County school district alters the daily schedule of 11 schools to make up teaching time missed because of Hurricane Irma, avoiding the …

    With students back in school after Hurricane Irma, schools across Florida begin scheduling makeup days for missed classroom time.
  5. How visiting a scenic Cuban resort can help save green sea turtles


    The Florida Aquarium has been collaborating with Cuba's National Aquarium since 2015 to help save coral dying throughout Caribbean waters.

    The beaches of Cuba's Cayo Largo are home to a large population of green sea turtle nests. The Florida Aquarium will lead eco-tours of Cayo Largo next year that will help protect the turtles and fund research.  [Avalon Outdoor]