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Friday, June 14, 2024

UF students and Gainesville community members can learn about and discuss the university’s presidential search at several public meetings Friday.

The university will host an open forum from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Presidents Room of Emerson Alumni Hall to discuss what type of qualities the next UF president should have. Attendees can give their input regarding UF’s character and accomplishments and its future president.

Also that day, two focus groups composed of previously selected faculty members and students will meet at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. respectively in the Presidents Room. Anyone interested may sit in on the sessions to listen, according to a university press release.

For those who can’t attend, the conferences will be live-streamed online, which can be accessed via www.presidentialsearch.ufl.edu. Earlier this month, the search committee accepted comments regarding the questions via email.

An administrative subcommittee will meet Monday to consider reports from Friday’s meetings and finalize the desired criteria for applicants, said UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes. The subcommittee will also examine information gained from conversations with alumni, boosters and business leaders.

“Ultimately, they’re just trying to make sure they’ve addressed the desired qualifications in everybody’s issues,” Sikes said. “All the constituents.”

The Qualifications and Criteria Subcommittee met Wednesday to talk about the language in the document. The subcommittee discussed including, as desired traits in an applicant, experience in an administrative leadership position at a major university and fluency in a second language.

Members of the subcommittee did not want the criteria to dissuade qualified applicants from pursuing the job. The subcommittee changed the introduction to the criteria to include that “the university will consider candidates both within and outside academia.”

After the subcommittee finalizes its criteria Monday, the document will be submitted to the overall search committee and UF Board of Trustees Committee on Governance for approval at a joint Tuesday meeting.

As for Friday, the three main topics will be:

•What are the unique qualities and notable strengths of UF?

• What are UF’s opportunities and impacts in academics, research and service for the future?

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• Based on these inquiries, what qualities and experience are needed for UF’s next leader?

Contact Julia Glum at jglum@alligator.org.

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