Scott appoints five to Board of Governors

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Governor Rick Scott appointed five new members of the Board of Governors on Thursday, bringing him close to having named a majority of the 17-member panel responsible for overseeing Florida’s 12 state universities, reports Brandon Larrabee of the News Service of Florida.

Scott’s office announced the appointments of Wayne Huizenga Jr., Ned Lautenbach, Alan Levine, Wendy Link and Edward Morton in a brief news release late Thursday. The five will join three other members of the board that Scott has appointed.

The five were named to seats that were either vacant or where the terms of current board members had expired and those members had not applied to be reappointed. Scott’s office did not announce what will happen with the seat currently held by Norman Tripp, who has asked for another term.

Huizenga, 51, the president of Rybovich Boat Company and Huizenga Holdings, Inc., is the son of a former owner of several Miami-area sports teams. Huizenga’s term will last until January 2020.

Lautenbach, 68, sits on the boards of Fidelity Investments and Eaton Corp. and has a master’s degree from Harvard. His term ends in January 2019.

Levine, 45, is the former head of the Agency for Health Care Administration in Florida and former secretary of health for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Levine also helped craft Scott’s health-care agenda. He is currently an executive at Hospital Management Services of Florida, Inc. Levine’s term on the board expires in January 2020.

Link, 48, chairs Florida Health Kids Corp. and is a member of the Palm Beach State College District Board of Trustees. The Palm Beach Gardens lawyer’s term runs until January 2020.

And Morton, 65, was a health-care executive for years and is now a partner with Wasmer Schroeder & Co., a Naples investment advisory firm. Morton’s term will last until January 2020.

The appointments come as Scott has been engaged in an effort to wrestle lower tuition increases, or no increases at all, from a higher education system that has faced deep cuts in state funding as lawmakers have worked for several years to close persistent budget gaps.

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.