Florida faculty vote no-confidence in process to pick Sasse as speaker
Florida faculty have voted no confidence in the process by which the Florida State University’s Board of Trustees chose to replace outgoing Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert with a conservative lawyer who has refused to relinquish his conservative views.
In a decision that could give the incoming speaker some of the power to determine who receives the faculty’s votes, the Board directed student government to appoint a committee to review and forward a list of “ideally qualified” candidates to the Trustees, who will select a speaker from their list.
The Board said it would not disclose the names of the candidates “until after the Board’s final, binding vote and the nomination period, to permit the student body to nominate the individual.”
“While the Board of Trustees is acting as a facilitator, not a referee, the manner in which the process is being administered is troubling,” the faculty said in a statement.
The board of trustees and student government have not acted in a manner that respects the faculty’s democratic values and is consistent with the university’s mission of excellence, they said in the statement.
An attorney for the faculty, Joseph R. DeToma, said the university’s actions “fail to establish democratic transparency and allow members of the faculty to have input.”
The incoming speaker, Florida State University’s President W. Kent Fuchs, has led the university’s conservative faction and resisted requests to address the faculty in a way that might be more inclusive. The administration has consistently resisted efforts to increase student free speech, saying that the university’s mission is to educate and make a positive influence on the world.
The board chairman, William A. Thompson, said he hoped that those who voted against Hastert and against Fuchs in the student government race would consider that the board and administration are taking a “different direction” with the process.
The vote was the first step in what DeToma said would be a long process, and would likely play an important role in the next speaker, Fuchs. The faculty voted by a 2-1 margin, with one member absent. Three