The presidential search is on — again.
UF’s Board of Trustees approved the creation of a presidential search committee Thursday to find a replacement for President Bernie Machen, whose contract ends Dec. 31.
This is the second time the committee has been formed to find a successor for Machen, who was slated to step down in 2013 once a replacement was chosen.
The committee was close to interviewing finalists when the search was called off, and Machen’s contract was extended. Gov. Rick Scott requested Machen remain at UF to lead its quest for a spot in the nation’s top 10 public universities.
The new committee, chaired by trustee Steve M. Scott, will begin the hunt for candidates in the coming months. Committee members have yet to be named by Board of Trustees chairman David Brown.
Scott said the search will involve the Board of Trustees members as well as the university’s roughly 240,000 stakeholders.
“I’m honored and pleased to take on this responsibility,” he said.
In a statement emailed to UF alumni, students, faculty and supporters, Brown announced the committee’s creation and asked for the community’s input on reusing the search criteria from 2012’s endeavor. The 24 qualifications, which were primarily made from desirable traits given by UF’s community, include traits like administrative experience, a background in academics and fiscal leadership.
“Bernie Machen has been a transformational leader,” Brown wrote. “When we asked him to extend his service to UF, he answered the call to work with the state’s educational and political leaders to obtain official status and new resources for preeminence. We will build on this foundation as we seek to become a top-10 public AAU research university.”
The previous committee ran into issues when some candidates were intimidated by Florida’s Sunshine Law, which makes public institution’s information public, including things like presidential applications. A bill in Florida’s House of Representatives, HB 115, sought to protect the names of candidates until finalists were announced, but whether it will survive the legislative process by the time this presidential search gets underway is unknown.
UF put up an accompanying website for the search, which includes a rough timeline and details about the presidency.
The timeline has the creation of several subcommittees for the search to take place over the remainder of Spring 2014, with solicitation of nominations and applications for the presidency to begin at Summer 2014 at the latest. The Board of Trustees will select the 12th president, with ratification by the Board of Governors by Spring 2015.
[A version of this story ran on page 1 on 4/11/2014 under the headline "Post-Machen UF presidential search, take two"]