Sandy D'Alemberte Knows: John Thrasher Is an Excellent Choice for FSU

By: Barney Bishop | Posted: May 28, 2014 3:55 AM
Barney Bishop

Barney Bishop

Sandy D’Alemberte is right. John Thrasher is well-qualified to become Florida State University’s next president.

Despite what faculty and students may believe, institutions of higher learning don’t need academicians leading them, they need chief fundraisers because the lifeblood of any college or university is money.

Whether that money comes from private donors or government coffers doesn’t really matter in the long run, because without money top-notch professors, outstanding researchers and quality students will not come.

But if we’ve learned anything it’s that politicians do make excellent university presidents and both Sandy D’Alemberte and T.K. Wetherell are shining examples of individuals who were a bridge to strong leadership and prolific fundraising. Admittedly, both Sandy and T.K. were also educators, the former as the dean of the FSU Law School and the latter as president of Tallahassee Community College. But, if you’ve forgotten how much they were criticized for not being academicians, you can’t have forgotten about their significant accomplishments on behalf of FSU.

Why do politicians do so well as university presidents? For one, they know very well the time and dedication to fundraising it takes to be successful. In both professions it is the predominant function that they must undertake. Further, they understand insightfully that you have to be someone who can schmooze with other people with the ability to walk into a room and find a friend in every corner, and successful politicians have that innate ability.

They also have to have the ability to influence the legislative and executive branches of government, because as a public institution it depends greatly on the influx of dollars from the state budget. No one understands better the legislative process than a former speaker who, while in command, pulled the levers to make anything and everything happen.

Inasmuch as there is no chance that the GOP will lose control of either chamber -- in fact my bet is that they will only increase their numbers -- whom better than a staunch Repub who has the respect of his peers and knows how the appropriation of dollars works in Tally? From some recent stories in the press, it seems that President Baron’s one dislike was the legislative bargaining that goes on, and that’s understandable, given that sausage-making is not a prerequisite for being a good academician.

Everyone knows what Presidents D’Alemberte and Wetherell did for FSU during their tenure and Sen. Thrasher has every opportunity to follow successfully in their footsteps. The fact that he has raised tens of millions of dollars both for his own races and that of his colleagues; that he secured millions of dollars for FSU’s medical school; that his colleagues in both chambers will listen respectfully when he comes to see them on behalf of FSU during session -- all are reasons why Sandy was right in recommending Thrasher for the job.

FSU deserves the best candidate. Someone from academia and another state will have a long and arduous training period and at a time when FSU has been designated for pre-eminence, along with the University of Florida -- this is not the time to train a new president in the ways of Florida. It’s time to seize the moment and advance the cause of the university with the one person best-suited for this time in its history.

John Thrasher will be an outstanding university president. We would be short-sighted to look further than our own backyard. Academics will still reign supreme with an excellent provost and the skilled department chairs. But it’s not necessary to have an academic as a university president. This politician, nominated by a former FSU president, who is on the other ideological side, by the way, is a testament to his ability to see through the clutter and make an informed recommendation.

Great leaders know who the other leaders are and I readily agree with the president that John Thrasher is a superb choice who will help bring FSU to the next level.

Barney Bishop III, one of the most familiar faces within the state business community, is CEO of Barney Bishop Consulting LLC in Tallahassee, and president and CEO of The Florida Smart Justice Alliance.

Comments (7)

6:38AM MAY 29TH 2014
And tell me again why we're not putting Ray Sansom into this job?

After all he's VP of the Rader Group with Billy Rader. Just another one of Jeb's for profit Charter School friends spreading the wealth of our tax dollars right into their pockets.

Personally I think "they" should consider giving the job to Charlie Crist. After all it's his alumni! It would give him a good job which he needs and John Morgan won't have to keep supporting him and making out like Charlie is real producer. And it would get him out of Rick Scott's "hair" so to speak!

Stranger thins have happened with Rick Scott. After all when Rick Scott attended that super bowl party at Ballard's home who was representing CCA and the Geo Grp and Rick Scott moved in on his prison privatization moves for them. Opposition come from then Senator Mike Fasano. Rick Scott just appointed Fasano Tax Collector of Pasco County and got his out of their way in Tallahassee!

So let's hear it for CharLIE Cirst to become the next FSU President! He's just what we need, and he needs a job and everyone loves him!
James Knauff III
12:17AM MAY 29TH 2014
Mr. Thrasher may be the best candidate. Of course we will never know since there was no opportunity for anyone else to be considered.
11:20PM MAY 28TH 2014
This is satire, right? Thrasher is a horrible choice, and is being given special treatment (being selected for interview before even applying). Was Barron not a good president? Does the opinion of faculty and students (i.e. the people who ARE the university) matter?
8:47AM MAY 29TH 2014
Any time a candidate for anything ,either, writes a book (usually with a co-author) or does "wonderful things" that gets lame stream media attention it means "they" are the chosen ones! Follow the trail and like the proverbial rainbow story and the pot of gold, instead you will find a Bush there!

Even GHW Bush's father Prescott in a letter to his mother lied about his war hero accomplishment's. It was all smoke and mirror's then and it's just bigger, better and more organized now!
sure he will
8:39AM MAY 28TH 2014
Every well run and organized criminal empire needs a professional at the top to continually replenish that trickle down effect!

Jameis Winston Sexual Assault Case was Covered Up? The entire criminal structure that conspired to commit these acts should be charged with Obstruction of Justice! Those who were remotely involved and failed to report these acts of conspiracy should be charged with misprision of a felony!

Then they allow this rapist to be elevated to greatness (which makes him and them millions of dollars) and be become infamous for stealing crab legs!

You had better watch out With a history like this Jameis Winston could very well become the first African-America governor Florida.

But, then when you think about the choices we have now once again Hillary was right "What difference, at this time, does it make?"
10:31AM MAY 28TH 2014
Winston's only 'crime' was picking up the wrong girl to go down on him that night. If there were any hint of a crime being committed Willie Meggs would have gone after him like a fright train.
Please do NOT invoke four dead Americans who died because Mrs. Clinton was a horrible SOS and because of that lost their lives.
sure he will
3:04PM MAY 28TH 2014
Actually I am registered as a Republican. But, the truth is their not a nickels worth of difference between the parties and not worth the time to change even to an Independent.

The thing that gets me the most is you died in the wool Repukicans with you noses up a Bush behind have all graduated from the Karl Rove[r] School of Bull Schet. Willie Meggs is so crooked when he dies they'll have to use a cork screw to screw him in the ground and heer you are trying to spin off how moral and honest he is.

Go sell your lies some place else, there in not an honest Republican State Attorney in Florida, if their was 99% of these politicians in the state would be serving 20 to life! In Orlando newly elected SA Jeff Ashton had just caught the Tallahassee Repub gang with their Steve Precourt Orange County Expressway Authority schemes to defraud. What he doesn't know is about all the coin Gate money missing that went into the 2004 elections.

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