Faculty and students gave input this week on FSU’s presidential search. New consultant Alberto Pimentel, a partner with the search firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, met with them after faculty voted no confidence in the previous one.
Pimentel used Tuesday and Wednesday’s open forums to assure FSU staff that the recruiting process would be open and transparent. According to him, few of the presidential candidates moving forward will have backgrounds outside of academia.
“By you all vocalizing about what you’re looking for, I can tell you what you have, in effect, done. You have shut down that pipeline,” Pimentel said. “The number of individuals that we are going to see in this search that come from a non-traditional background is probably limited to whatever you have already.”
The vocalizing Pimentel refers to is the faculty’s opposition to the previous search consultant, Bill Funk. The faculty senate voted no-confidence in Funk earlier this month after they said his search appeared rigged in favor of state Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine). Funk resigned shortly afterward.
At the forum, several faculty members said a scholarly president would help elevate national recognition of the university’s academic reputation. Four faculty members and three students serve on the 27-member search committee.
FSU music professor Michael Bakan puts those odds into perspective this way: “We’re bringing a knife to a gunfight in terms of faculty and student to other kinds of interests of representation within an environment like this.”
While reorganizing the search committee is unlikely, Pimentel said he has faith in the rejuvenated search process and wants the faculty as involved as possible.
“I’m expecting that all of you are going to call up your friends and colleagues at other universities, and universities that this person has been affiliated with- wherever that may be,” Pimentel says. “I don’t have to tell you to do it, you’re going to do it. And find out what you can. The only thing I ask is that if anything negative comes up, share that with me.”
Pimentel says he’ll present the faculty’s concerns to the full search committee soon.