Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Who will lead state's university system?

He has the business background, political connections and the pedigree. Could Marshall Criser III, the president of AT&T in Florida, be the next chancellor of Florida's state university system?

Criser'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 on 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.

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. One of Florida's most visible businessmen, he serves on the Florida Chamber of Commerce board, the Florida Council of 100 and Enterprise Florida board. He is also the former chairman of Florida TaxWatch and was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to serve on the state's Transportation Commission.

He earned a bachelor's in business administration from the University of Florida in 1980 and later completed some management training in France. The lack of any advanced degree could lead to lukewarm support from university professors and faculty members.

However, no one seems to think it will be held against Criser. The chancellor's job is largely managerial and political. He has a strong working relationship with Gov. Rick Scott and is well-liked by lawmakers. Besides, his supporters say, Criser could rely on a strong academic as his No. 2.

He won't have to go far for advice: His father, Marshall Criser Jr., was UF's president from 1984 to 1989.

Hispanic outreach

A former aide to state Sen. Anitere Flores was named Florida state Hispanic director for the Republican National Committee.

Alex Garcia, who will work closely with the state GOP, is among three staffers the RNC will have in the state as it seeks to build ties with Hispanics, a group Republicans have struggled with. The RNC said Monday that it had hired staffers in seven states.

Other Florida staffers: Jeannette Quinones-Hernandez is the Hispanic field director for Central Florida. She worked with Marco Rubio's 2010 Senate campaign and with Mitt Romney's Hispanic outreach efforts. Lourdes Aguirre is the Hispanic field director for South Florida. She was previously executive producer of Eres America, a TV, radio and Internet-based program.

Who will lead state's university system? 10/09/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 9:54am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No easy answer to the Dunedin parking question

    Local Government

    DUNEDIN — Nothing has been more divisive in this city than the issue of paid parking.

    A server at Cafe Alfresco (background) claims Dunedin's new paid parking has cost him money. Dunedin began a paid parking last October. Nine months in, residents, business owners and city officials all share mixed feelings. In October, when the one-year program ends, the city will have until November to come up with another solution to its parking woes, or continue the paid parking program at the risk of angering locals.JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning, Amalie Arena to host job fair today

    Business

    TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Lightning and its home, Amalie Arena, are hosting a part-time job fair from 3 to 6 p.m. today on the Promenade Level of the arena. Available positions include platinum services, parking attendants, event security, housekeeping, retail and many other departments.

    The Tampa Bay Lightning and AMALIE Arena is hosting a part-time job fair on Thursday, Aug. 17 on the Promenade level of the arena.
  3. Nearly 1 in 4 Tampa Bay homeowners considered equity rich

    Real Estate

    If your home is worth at least 50 percent more than you owe, you're rich — equity rich that is.

    About one in four Tampa Bay homeowners are considered "equity rich." [Associated Press file photo]
  4. Trump strategist Steve Bannon: No military solution in North Korea

    National

    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with "fire and fury."

    Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump, has drawn fire from some of Trump's closest advisers. [Associated Press]
  5. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press