Lone remaining presidential finalist drops out at FGCU amid recruitment restart

by | Nov 29, 2022

  • Florida Gulf Coast University’s lone remaining presidential finalist has withdrawn from consideration
  • Robert G. Gregerson, current President of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, elected to remain in his current role rather than undergo a second candidate search process 
  • All three original presidential finalists have now recanted their role in the search, leaving the university back at square one 
  • Tod A. Laursen and Susana V. Rivera-Mills withdrew from the search in early November following a two-week delay in selecting a president-elect

The lone remaining finalist in Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU) presidential search, Robert G. Gregerson, has withdrawn from consideration, according to the university, after the Board of Trustees announced the re-opening of a general candidate search.

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.

Board of Trustees Chairman Blake Gable stated during the Nov. 17th meeting that the university seeks to explore “as wide a pool of candidates as possible,” effectively restarting the process.

Consequentially, the university now finds itself at square one again after Gregerson elected to remain in his role as President of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg rather than undergo a second search process, informing the school of his decision following the candidate search re-opening announcement.

“During this morning’s Board of Trustees meeting, a unanimous decision was made to table any further discussion on search candidates while we reopen the recruitment and screening phase of the search for FGCU’s fifth president. Following our meeting, Robert G. Gregerson, Ph.D., announced he is not continuing his candidacy,” FGCU’s presidential search update tracker posted.

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.

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.

Laursen and Rivera-Mills both dropped out of the search process in the span between the original selection delay on Nov. 2nd and the Nov. 17th 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.


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