As presidential search drags on, FSU’s Faculty Senate continues to amaze and dumbfound

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As the old saying goes — be careful what you ask for.

Last week, the FSU Faculty Senate passed four resolutions dictating how it would like to see the search conducted. Imagine if the Semiole Boosters or Alumni Association (or even the Legislature) did that!

One resolution called for the resignation of FSU’s nationally prominent search consultant William Funk. A man with a seemingly impeccable reputation in his field and, as far as I can tell, had never been “called out” in such a manner.

So he quit.

Faculty, you got what you asked for!

Who can blame him?  The search producing T.K. Wetherell (also conducted by Funk) was completed in a little over a month, and the current search is entering its 112 day today — with no end in sight.

Instead of an application period of around two weeks, as in T.K.’s case, Funk worked hard trying to get applications for three months.

And what does he get for his efforts?  Shown to the door.

With over 1,200 full-time FSU faculty members, are we to believe none of them offered anyone worth nominating? One faculty member stepped up; former FSU President (and bona fide liberal) Sandy D’Alemberte.

His suggestion? John Thrasher. And we see how that went down.

I’m sure William Funk is grateful for all the faculty assistance.

Now look at the box SOME (the votes were far from unanimous) of the FSU Faculty Senators who have put themselves into after they hijacked the train. They’ve run it off the rails!

Now, no search firm in this country will touch FSU. Who would? A recalcitrant faculty with veto power if they do not like the state of affairs. When events occur beyond the search team’s control, resulting in condemnation and resolutions of ouster?  Good luck FSU!

Mark my words. They’ll be forced to conduct the remainder of this “cluster” in-house.

Look how the faculty’s reaction has complicated matters.

If Thrasher drops out (or loses the post to a faculty favorite) the chosen individual will come in with a heavy burden to raise private dollars and increase legislative funding. His (or her) first task will be to mend fences —none of which are of their doing — with all the various stakeholders: the Legislature, major donors, boosters, alumni, and various corporate partners … perhaps many of the faculty, student and staff.

In the end, Thrasher may end up being the faculty’s best choice.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.