Yes, it’s probably inconvenient for someone applying to be the president of Florida State University or dean at FAMU to deal with Florida’s public records law.
And that’s a good thing.
Positions of leadership at Florida’s taxpayer funded universities are some of the most crucial positions in state government – surely more important that many elected positions in our state.
That’s why Florida legislators who authored the state’s public records law correctly required applicants for these vital positions to do so publicly. Now some legislators want to roll back this requirement, saying that it is suppressing the candidate pool.
That may be true. But this ignores the workplace reality that many employers are open and even cooperative when it comes to their employees taking the “next step.”
Even more importantly, the value of a transparent process far outweighs the skittishness that potential applicants may experience. If a candidate isn’t willing to stick his or her neck out for jobs this important, do we really want them in the position in the first place?
Looking in our own backyard, the hiring of Florida State University President John Thrasher was controversial enough. Can you imagine what it would have been like if Thrasher’s name had not even surfaced until well into the process?
The legislature originally passed this provision to increase confidence in the hiring process.
That reasoning has not changed.