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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Ben Sasse confirmed as president-elect by Florida Board of Governors

Contract begins Feb. 6

UF Presidential Finalist U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, listens to public comment at the Board of Trustees meeting where his candidacy is being discussed at Emerson Alumni Hall Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022.
UF Presidential Finalist U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, listens to public comment at the Board of Trustees meeting where his candidacy is being discussed at Emerson Alumni Hall Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022.

U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse cleared his final hurdle to become UF’s 13th president after his confirmation by the Florida Board of Governors Wednesday. 

In his presentation to the Board of Governors, Mori Hosseini, Chair of the UF Board of Trustees, said he told the search committee to find a once in a generation leader to see to it that UF would be consistently ranked as one of the best public universities in the country.

Sasse said he wouldn’t have the capacity to engage in partisan politics; and pledged not to surrogate for any political candidate, as well as to freeze his political committees and funding accounts 

Sasse’s contract will see him officially take office Feb 6, 2023 — subject to a term extension after 5 years. His base salary will be $1 million a year, and if he remains an active UF employee in good standing by July 2024, that salary will increase by 4% annually. 

Sasse’s performance bonuses can also add up to 15% of his salary, according to his contract.

Adjusted for inflation, Sasse’s initial presidential base salary is 65% higher than that of Bernie Machen in 2003; but 7% lower than Kent Fuchs’ 2014 base salary.

Further financial incentives are determined by whether UF reaches designated short-term goals and sees long-term goal progress, which are determined by a strategic plan that’s to be developed by Sasse and the 16 UF colleges. The plan is to be reviewed by the Faculty Senate and approved by the Board of Trustees.

UF will reimburse Sasse for the moving costs of bringing his family from Nebraska to Gainesville. It will also pay the costs of utilities, housekeeping and maintenance of the Dasburg President's House.

“The University recognizes that it may be appropriate for Dr. Sasse to engage in outside activities, such as serving on outside boards, consulting, delivering speeches, and writing, among other things,” the contract states.

Sasse is allowed to engage in such activities as long as he obtains approval from the chair of the Board of Trustees, according to the contract. The board would weigh in on potential conflicts of  interests with UF, or possible impairment of the ability to serve as president.

Hosseini submitted a letter to Board of Governors Chair Brian Lamb to officially present Sasse as UF’s nominee. Hosseini reiterated many of his talking points throughout Sasse’s candidacy: Sasse’s unanimous selection, the necessary lack of transparency for UF to attract high-value candidates and his personal confidence in Sasse’s leadership. 

“[Sasse’s] high intelligence has made him a sought-out leader on some of the world’s most complex issues,” Hosseini wrote. “Dr. Sasse believes the University of Florida is the most interesting university in the most dynamic state in the country. Our Board of Trustees agrees.”

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Contact Christian at ccasale@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @vanityhack.

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Christian Casale

Christian is a fourth-year history major. In the past, he’s served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Valencia Voice. He now covers the University Administration for the Alligator. In his free time he likes reading and nodding along to Bruce Springsteen songs.


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