Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

UF search will be tough, trustee says

A tough sell.

That's how one member of the University of Florida's Board of Trustees characterized the open presidency at the state's flagship university.

"It's not like it's been in the past," said Al Warrington, in a brief torrent of heated remarks capping off a board conference call about the search on Thursday. "We've got a whole new world ahead of us."

Given the recent drain of state funding to the university system, in addition to a loss of money for new construction and growing pressure on schools to prove their worth, attracting a strong leader to replace the highly regarded Bernie Machen will be difficult.

It will be difficult enough that Warrington all but insisted the search be done out of the sunshine — in other words, in secret.

The idea is that sitting presidents at other universities might be reluctant to publicly throw in their names as candidates for fear of jeopardizing their positions. The concern comes up frequently in Florida, which has particularly open public records laws.

Machen, who took over in 2004 and has an annual salary of more than $400,000, announced last month that he planned to leave by the end of next year, when his contract runs out.

"Bernie is going to be tough enough to replace, but we need to find somebody in a different environment than in the sunshine," Warrington said. "We need people with Bernie under the radar screen doing the search."

Speaking of under the radar, most of those comments weren't even heard by many people who had tuned in to the meeting.

Warrington's remarks came just as the meeting was adjourning, with board chairman David Brown bidding the trustees goodbye. Phones could be heard clicking out as Warrington continued.

In a room in UF's administration building — where Machen, a handful of UF leaders and a couple of reporters had gathered to listen in together via speakerphone — someone hung up.

Meanwhile, still on the phone, Warrington suggested putting up money to pay for Machen to travel around the country recruiting his successor. He indicated that a similar deal was worked out when Machen was chosen.

Brown assured him that they would explore all options, then hurried him off the phone.

Kim Wilmath can be reached at [email protected] or 813-226-3337.

UF search will be tough, trustee says 07/12/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 12, 2012 11:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Iraqi forces sweep into Kirkuk, checking Kurdish independence drive

    World

    KIRKUK, Iraq — After weeks of threats and posturing, the Iraqi government began a military assault Monday to curb the independence drive by the nation's Kurdish minority, wresting oil fields and a contested city from separatists pushing to break away from Iraq.

    Iraqi security forces patrol Monday in Tuz Khormato, about 45 miles south of Kirkuk, a disputed city that the government seized in response to last month’s Kurdish vote for independence.
  2. Trump and McConnell strive for unity amid rising tensions

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, tried to convey a sense of harmony Monday after months of private feuding that threatened to undermine their party's legislative push in the coming weeks to enact a sweeping tax cut.

    President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell field questions Monday in the Rose Garden of the White House. “We have been friends for a long time,” Trump said.
  3. 'Me too': Alyssa Milano urged assault victims to tweet in solidarity. The response was massive.

    Human Interest

    Actor Alyssa Milano took to Twitter on Sunday with an idea, suggested by a friend, she said.

    Within hours of Alyssa Milano’s tweet, tweets with the words “me too” began appearing. By 3 a.m. Monday, almost 200,000 metoo tweets were published by Twitter’s count.
  4. Tampa tax shelter schemer too fat for his prison term, attorney says

    Criminal

    TAMPA — A federal judge sentenced two Bay area men to prison terms last week for peddling an offshore tax shelter scheme that cost the IRS an estimated $10 million.

    Duane Crithfield and Stephen Donaldson Sr. were sentenced to prison after marketing a fraudulent offshore tax strategy known as a "Business Protection Plan" to medical practices, offering doctors and others coverage against unlikely events such as a kidnapping.

  5. Weinstein Co., overwhelmed by backlash, may be up for sale

    Corporate

    NEW YORK — The Weinstein Co., besieged by sexual harassment allegations against its namesake and co-founder, may be putting itself up for sale.

    Weinstein