Florida Board of Governors to give final say on Ray Rodrigues Chancellor recommendation next week

by | Sep 9, 2022

  • Florida’s university system Board of Governors next week will consider the approval of the Chancellor Search Committee’s recommendation of Ray Rodrigues as the state’s new Chancellor
  • The Sept. 14 meeting will conclude a three-month-long search for a successor to outgoing Chancellor Marshall Criser. 
  • Rodrigues has served in the Florida Senate since 2020, though elected to not seek re-election in order to pursue the Chancellor role 

The State University System Board of Governors next week will consider the approval of Ray Rodrigues as the new system Chancellor. Rodrigues in August was unanimously recommended by the Chancellor Search Committee over finalist Dr. Lori Cromwell

The members of the Board of Governors are slated to meet at the University of West Florida on Sept. 14, where they will discuss and deliberate the state system’s needs, and whether Rodrigues would be able to sufficiently fulfill the role. The meeting will conclude a three-month-long search for a successor to outgoing Chancellor Marshall Criser. 

Criser has served as Chancellor since 2014 and oversaw an increase in state appropriations for operations by $1.258 billion (29 percent), a four-year graduation rate increase to 59.3 percent (a 17 percent increase), and an increase in research expenditures by $358 million, representing a $7 billion economic impact.

Rodrigues, who is employed at Florida Gulf Coast University, has served in the Senate representing Lee County since 2020 and is not seeking re-election.

In recent years, Rodrigues has led the way in education-based legislative proposals affecting Florida’s higher-education system through legislation he either drafted or sponsored.

In the Senate, Rodrigues successfully passed a Postsecondary Education bill that annually assesses the intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity at each Florida College System institution and State University System university through a nonpartisan, objective, and statistically valid survey.

Rodrigues in 2022 was also a sponsor of a higher-education proposal (SB 7044) that permits the state university system’s Board of Governors to design a new method for examining the tenure of professors and faculty.

“I am excited to advance Mr. Rodrigues to the next phase of this process.  He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Florida’s higher education system that I believe will serve our students, faculty, staff, and institutions well,”  said Brian Lamb, chair of the Board of Governors

The Chancellor serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the State Univerisity System of Florida (SUSF), the second-largest university system in the country, which includes Florida’s twelve public universities and serves over 430,000 students, with revenues of $14.3 billion.

The Chancellor’s role is comprised of responsibilities including but not limited to regular interaction with university boards of trustees and presidents, the Florida Legislature, and the Executive Office of the Governor on issues of critical importance to the State University System of Florida.



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