FSU's Stokes Interviewing Elsewhere

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Update: Columbia Missourian
November 11, 2014

FSU Provost and Former Interim President Garnett Stokes is interviewing to be the next provost at the University of Missouri.

Stokes attended an open forum yesterday on Missouri's campus.

Stokes was interviewed for the permanent job at FSU but didn't make the final four.

Michele Wheatley who also interviewed for the FSU job is in the running for the Missouri Provost job as well.

News Release: Statement from Interim President Garnett S. Stokes

"I told President-elect Thrasher when I met with him that I looked forward to working with him and that I was committed to FSU’s success. I still have much I’d like to accomplish at FSU, and it would take an exceptional opportunity for me to consider leaving. FSU’s potential to rise in national stature is considerable, and I am delighted to be a key leader in keeping our attention focused on FSU’s goal of becoming a Top 25 public university."

As Florida State narrows its search for a new president, it's unclear what the current interim president might do.

After much debate, Doctor Garnett Stokes did not make the list of finalists for the full time job.

Stokes was the university provost before she was named interim president.

We asked Doctor Stokes on September 3rd if she would stay at Florida State if she didn't get the full time president's job before she found out she wouldn't.

"I love being at Florida State Univeristy and I really haven't thought about what happens after this so much. Certainly, I've enjoyed the role of provost as well. I'm ready to be a president, so we'll have to see how it goes and see what the future holds," Stokes said September 3rd.

Eyewitness News asked for a follow up interview with Stokes Monday to ask about her future plans.

But so far, we haven't been able to get one.

Update: Associated Press
September 3, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State University interim president Garnett Stokes says she wants the job permanently.

Stokes turned in her application by the Tuesday deadline. She is seeking the post even though there are high-profile politicians such as State Sen. John Thrasher already seeking the position.

Stokes was provost under former President Eric Barron. Barron left FSU to take the top position at Penn State University.

Some FSU faculty members urged Stokes to apply. They want the school to be led by someone with academic credentials as opposed to a politician.

A total of 37 people officially applied for the job. That includes Thrasher as well as Supreme Court Justice Ricky Polston.

FSU's previous search consultant warned it would be hard to attract candidates because of Thrasher's interest in the job.

By Andy Alcock
September 2, 2014

A key date has arrived in the search for Florida State University's new president.

The deadline to apply for the job is Tuesday, September 2.

At last check, the FSU website lists 27 applicants for the job.

One of them is Tallahassee State Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda.

"I think the process seems to be going smoothly at this point in time, there have been some concerns, but I've got my hat in the ring and very serious about it," said Vasilinda. "I'm very excited about the prospect of hopefully getting an interview," she said.

Once the application deadline is past, the presidential search advisory committee is schedule to meet Friday to pick roughly six applicants to get interviews.

At last check, Interim FSU President Garnett Stokes has not applied to be the full time president.

She was unavailable for an interview today.

In the original search process, State Senator John Thrasher, still a candidate, was going to be given the only interview.

That search process was started with a new consultant, but the original applicants list was included.

The Board of Trustees is expected to hire the next president September 23rd.

By: Chris Gros
September 1, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - In the midst of searching for its newest leader, FSU students and graduate assistants want a bigger say on the school’s presidential search committee.

Currently there are 27 members on the search committee. Four faculty members and three students make up 26% of the vote. In May all students and faculty, and two staff members, on the committee voted against "fast tracking" the application of Florida State Senator John Thrasher. However they were overruled 13-9. Groups like Graduate Assistants United wants to see both students and faculty make up 1/3 of the votes each to form a super majority.

"Our greatest concern is that the number of corporate and political outside stake holder interest is far and greater than the number of direct tie interest especially student and faculty interest," said Graduate Assistant United Spokesperson Lakely.

Eyewitness News reached out to FSU Board of Trustee Chair Allan Bense but he denied a personal comment on the issue. In July Bense released a statement in response to similar concerns from student groups

"The board of trustees is committed to a process where all constituencies are represented and involved. We appreciate the importance of student participation and want their voices to continue to be heard during the search for a new president," said Bense.

Story by: James Buechele

Tallahassee, Fla.

A grad student has resigned from her position on the presidential search committee. Now some are pushing for more student involvement.

Jennifer Proffitt, president of the FSU chapter of the United Faculty of Florida, says with the resignation of one student there's a bigger need for students to voice concerns on the school's next leader.

"Students are the core of this university and we're the ones who teach them, the faculty," said Proffitt. "We should have a greater say."

Kerr Ballenger, president of Graduate Assistants United says his organization hopes 13 students will replace the one GA to make up a third of the committee.

"With 41,000 students, I can't think of anyone else that would be a better stakeholder than a student voice," said Ballenger.

Allan Bense, chair of the board of trustees released this statement regarding the committee.

"The Board of Trustees is committed to a process where all constituencies are represented and involved. We appreciate the importance of student participation and want their voices to continue to be heard during the search for a new president."

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