WFSU by Lynn Hatter
March 5, 2020
Florida is on the verge of turning the lights off on presidential searches at public colleges and universities. The move to shield most candidates who apply for the schools’ top job comes after years of battles on the issue. Supporters of the plan say the state’s open records laws keep good people away because they don’t want employers to know they’re job hunting.
This battle over presidential searches and the sunshine law has bubbled in the state for years.:
“This gives us an opportunity to increase our pool of applicants,” former Republican Sen. Alan Hays argued back in 2015.
“Leaders in higher education that are sitting presidents, that don’t want their name in a newspaper saying they’re interested in a different job,” Former Florida Board of Regents Chancellor Charlie Reed said in 2014.
“I think the goal of this bill is to get the best possible people to apply for these positions and don’t have to worry about their names being released,” Republican Rep. Chris Latvala recently told his colleagues as he pitched the 2020 version of the plan to close presidential searches at state colleges and universities.