- Mike Martin, the outgoing president of Florida Gulf Coast University, had his contract extended through June on Thursday amid a complicated search for his successor
- Martin’s contract contains a stipulation that it can be terminated at an earlier date should his replacement be found sooner
- Martin was originally slated to step down into retirement at the end of December, but various delays and complications in the university’s candidate search forced FGCU to request that he remain in his role until a new leader is chosen
- FGCU re-opened its candidate search after two finalists withdrew from consideration, with the third dropping out shortly thereafter
The Florida Gulf Coast University Board of Trustees (BoT) extended the contract of outgoing President Mike Martin on Thursday, as its search for a successor remains in limbo.
Martin’s contract now runs through June 2023, with a stipulation that it can be terminated at an earlier date should his replacement be found sooner.
Martin was originally slated to step down into retirement at the end of December, but complications in the university’s candidate search forced FGCU to request that he remain in his role until a new leader is chosen.
The FGCU Board of Trustees decided to reopen its presidential candidate search on Nov. 17th after two of the three named finalists — Tod A. Laursen, Acting President of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Susana V. Rivera-Mills, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Ball State University — withdrew from consideration in early November.
Due to a requirement that the BoT present three candidates to interview and choose a president-elect among, the group necessitated a recommencing of a search for candidates.
A week later, the lone remaining finalist in the search, Robert G. Gregerson, withdrew from consideration, according to the university, after he was informed of the search re-opening.
“We cannot do this again. I am personally embarrassed that we are in this situation, angry that we are in this situation. I do not like my time being wasted. I know that my colleagues don’t like my time being wasted,” said Trustee Luis Rivera on Thursday.
FGCU’s search for its next president has been tumultuous, to say the least, enduring the campus closure brought on by the landfall of Hurricane Ian, as well as an additional two-week delay in its vote on a president-elect.
The second candidate search still has logistics to be worked out, including the general timeline and how the search will be conducted.
Further, BoT Chairman Blake Gable holds reservations as to whether the makeup of the search committee will remain the same as the initial search.
“I don’t know if those on the search committee will want to remain for a second search,” said Gable.
Upon Gregerson’s withdrawal from the process, Gable stated his intent to seek entirely new applicants rather than return solely to the roughly dozen candidates that were on the university’s shortlist following the initial search, though those who landed on the shortlist won’t be entirely ruled out.
Though the university has a contract with consultants AGB Search, the BoT indicated to university staff that they may look to work alongside a new firm.