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Former FIU prez nominated for chancellor job, AT&T's Criser also applies

Published Nov. 2, 2013

It was the worst-kept secret in Tallahassee but now we know it to be true: AT&T Florida President Marshall Criser III has his sights set on being the next university system chancellor. He and 17 others applied to lead the state's 12 public universities, though many of these folks have seemingly thin resumes.

But there is a wild card: former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart wrote a letter nominating former Florida International University President Modesto "Mitch" Maidique for the job. Maidique has until Monday to decide if he will accept the nomination and formally apply.

He has the academic credentials that Criser lacks but is in his 70s and may not actually want the job.

Maidique served at FIU for 23 years until his retirement in 2009. FIU grew from a commuter school to a major research university under his tenure, and he was given much of the credit.

James "Jim" Purcell, commissioner of the Louisiana Board of Regents, may also be a leading candidate. Put another way, he is the state university system chancellor in Louisiana, just with a different title and on a smaller scale.

There were some who wondered if Florida Polytechnic University interim President Ava Parker would submit her name. She did not. Now folks will wonder if that means Parker is eyeing the permanent job at Florida A&M University.

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