By Kathleen McGrory
Let the backlash begin.
One day after Florida State President Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte nominated Sen. John Thrasher to be the university’s next president, the Florida State chapter of the United Faculty of Florida said it had “lost confidence” in the search.
“We now believe that there is ample evidence indicating that this process is not being conducted fairly, is not open and transparent, and is ignoring the needs of the faculty, students and taxpayers,” the UFF said in a press release.
The group called on the university to add more faculty members to the search committee and change search firms.
The current firm “has exhibited a serious lack of regard for the opinions and input of our faculty and appears to be pursuing an agenda different than that of an open and honest search for the best candidates,” the UFF said.
Earlier Wednesday, coalition of student activists spoke out against Thrasher’s nomination.
“Students are upset with the lack of transparency that this search process has undergone,” the Tallahassee Dream Defenders, Tallahassee Students for a Democratic Society, Florida State University Progress Coalition and Graduate Assistants United said in a statement.
The groups also expressed concern that the 30-member student search committee has only four members of color. And they pointed out that Thrasher had recently proposed splitting the FAMU-FSU engineering school — a move they say would treat FAMU students “like second-class citizens.”
“Florida State students and community members want a president who cares about the education of black and brown people, no matter what campus,” the groups said. “FSU students demand a president who is ethically responsible.”