March 18, 2020
Florida narrowly dodged a dreadful new law that would have made the search for university presidents secret. The bill died a welcome death on Saturday, thanks to the state Senate.
What a relief, until you consider how the University of Central Florida is circumventing the existing Sunshine Law without the Legislature’s help.
Six months after UCF started looking for a new president, and less than a week before it was scheduled to pick one, a mystery candidate emerged on Monday.
That’s right, a mystery candidate, whose identity was revealed on Wednesday morning as Alexander Cartwright, chancellor of the University of Missouri.
After the search committee reviewed his credentials Wednesday morning, and conducted a video interview, they decided he should be a finalist, joining another finalist — Cato Laurencin of the University of Connecticut — whose name has been public since early March. (A third finalist dropped out Wednesday, perhaps sensing the fix is in.)
Now, the UCF Board of Trustees is scheduled to make its final choice on Friday.
That gives the public — and the trustees — all of 48 hours to figure out if Cartwright is the right person to lead America’s second largest university and one of the region’s most important and influential institutions.