University of Florida trustees shouldn’t limit the search to replace its president strictly to the academic world, said State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan on Monday.
Brogan, in the Capitol Monday for the governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Education meeting, said “nontraditional” candidates should get as much consideration as those from the academic world.
“I think of the reputation of the University of Florida, and I think of some of the potential talent that is out there, both traditional and nontraditional, and to cordon it off from either would be a big mistake,” Brogan said.
“If you’ve got a great process in place -- and I trust we’ll have one with the University of Florida -- the right person will shake out of that.”
Bernie Machen, University of Florida president whose contract runs through 2013, announced Friday he plans to retire next year, remaining on as a professor.
Machen, 68, has been president since 2004. With a base pay of $416,000 a year, Machen came to UF after six years as president of the University of Utah.
Trustees chairman David Brown has said the search for a replacement will begin this summer.
Brogan didn’t offer any names as examples of the talent pool for UF to consider, but gave John A. Delaney, University of North Florida president, as an example of a “nontraditional” presidential selection.
“John Delaney is an outstanding university president who had never worked at a university before and frankly was never in education before,” Brogan said.
“I think there is sometimes a proclivity to want to rule out nontraditional. I just think it’s a mistake. Just as I would think it’s a mistake to rule out academic backgrounds.”
Delaney, considered UNF’s chief fundraiser since being appointed in 2003, served two terms as mayor of Jacksonville, where he had been the chief assistant state attorney for Northeast Florida and served on numerous nonprofit and corporate boards.
Brogan himself was considered to come from the nonacademic world when selected in 2003 as the president of Florida Atlantic University following five years as the state’s lieutenant governor and four year as the elected Florida Commissioner of Education.
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