- The presidential search for Florida Gulf Coast University will be re-established after two of the three finalists withdrew from consideration
- Board of Trustees Chairman Blake Gable stated during today’s meeting that the university seeks to explore “as wide a pool of candidates as possible,” effectively restarting the process
- As a prerequisite to selecting a president-elect, the Board of Trustees is required to bring forth a group of three finalists to decide on, according to Gable
- Outgoing President Mike Martin will continue to serve in his role until a successor is chosen
The Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Board of Trustees on Thursday decided to reopen its presidential candidate search after two of the three named finalists withdrew from consideration this month.
Board of Trustees Chairman Blake Gable stated during today’s meeting that the university seeks to explore “as wide a pool of candidates as possible,” effectively restarting the process.
Through the initial search process, FGCU’s presidential search committee interviewed 12 candidates, ultimately narrowing the field down to three applicants: Robert G. Gregerson, President of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, 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.
On its presidential search website, FGCU notified members of the public this week in November of the three finalists — Laursen and Rivera-Mills — withdrew from consideration.
The pair of withdrawals left Gregerson as the lone remaining finalist, with an initial expectation that he would be chosen as the university’s president-elect.
The Board of Trustees looks to go in a different direction, however, as Trustee Grace Brannigan called a potential vote on just the last candidate standing “unfair to the 18,000 people involved with the university.”
As a prerequisite to selecting a president-elect, the Board of Trustees is required to bring forth a group of three finalists to decide on, according to Gable on Thursday
Gable also said that he will reconvene with Gregerson to inquire as to whether he would like to continue his involvement in the search process as a finalist.
“We find ourselves in a challenging situation,” said Trustee Edward Morton. “We thought we brought forward an appropriate array of candidates that were well-suited to take on this responsibility. That being said, we have an opportunity to go back and reflect, and with a little additional time and refine the process a little bit. By linking together, we’ll get through this.”
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 a two-week delay in its original vote on a president-elect.
Laursen and Rivera-Mills both dropped out of the search process during the span between the original selection delay on Nov. 2nd and Thursday’s meeting.
Gable told remaining Trustees that he will coordinate with the search committee and have a laid-out gameplan by the next time the Board meets on Dec. 8th, but 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
In the meantime, Gable reported that the outgoing President Mike Martin will prolong his service to the school until a successor is adequately chosen.