Sen. Sasse wins final vote to be next U of Florida president

Nov 9, 2022, 11:56 AM | Updated: 2:28 pm
FILE - Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., listens during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ket...

FILE - Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., listens during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 23, 2022. Sasse won approval Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, from the University of Florida Board of Trustees to be the school's next president despite vocal opposition from some faculty and students. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Nebraska U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse won final approval Wednesday to become the 13th president of the University of Florida, capping a swift and sometimes contentious process.

Sasse, a Republican, was confirmed for the post by the state university system Board of Governors on a voice vote. Sasse said he will resign from the Senate in early January and take the Florida school’s helm the following month.

“Thrilled to join Gator Nation in February,” Sasse said on Twitter.

The vote held at the University of South Florida in Tampa came just over a month after Sasse was revealed as the sole finalist for the job. That followed a lengthier, confidential search process that drew a vote of no confidence from the Florida Faculty Senate.

Questions also arose about how Sasse’s oft-stated opposition to gay marriage would mesh with concerns about inclusion raised by the university’s LGBTQ students and faculty. Sasse’s status as a politician also drew opposition.

Sasse told the governors Wednesday that he will not be involved in partisan politics in any form and that he wants people from diverse backgrounds at the school with more than 50,000 students and a presence in every Florida county.

Earlier meetings with Sasse at the university’s Gainesville campus drew loud protests from students and faculty, many concerned about how gay issues would be viewed.

“We want no bullying. We want no intimidation,” Sasse said Wednesday. “I want us to be a place that has open hearts and thick skin.”

Sasse added that vigorous debate over ideas is a key part of the university’s mission.

“I want us to be a place that challenges young men and women with new ideas, even if they are uncomfortable,” he said. “We want the University of Florida to be a place that embraces debate.”

Sasse, 50, was previously president of Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska, which has just over 1,600 students. He attended Harvard University and earned a doctorate in history from Yale University.

The Board of Governors had nothing but praise for Sasse’s selection, with board member Tim Cerio saying the senator has won over many skeptics on campus.

“People need to listen to him and give him a shot,” Cerio said.

The University of Florida Board of Trustees had unanimously approved Sasse as the school’s next president Nov. 1. Officials said Sasse’s compensation package amounts to about $1.6 million a year.

The meeting was moved up one day because of the approach of Tropical Storm Nicole, forecast to become a hurricane before reaching Florida Thursday. Sasse spoke to the board via remote video hookup.

Sasse is two years into his second six-year Senate term. His successor will be appointed by Nebraska’s Republican governor, meaning his resignation will have no impact on the Senate balance of power.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - John Duarte, a Republican candidate in California's 13th Congressional District, arrives at ...
Associated Press

GOP’s Duarte takes California Central Valley US House seat

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Republican John Duarte defeated Democrat Adam Gray on Friday in a new California U.S. House district in the Central Valley farm belt that produced the closest congressional contest in the state this year. With virtually all of the ballots counted, Duarte has just over 50% of the vote. Gray conceded in […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Family seeks answers after police kill man on his own porch

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The family of an Austin, Texas, man is seeking answers after he was fatally shot by police last month on his front porch following a late-night emergency call by a neighbor. Video and audio released Thursday show Austin police officers arrived Nov. 15, yelled “drop your gun,” then fired at Rajan […]
21 hours ago
FILE - Flowers and candles are placed around crosses on May 28, 2022, at a memorial outside Robb El...
Associated Press

Uvalde shooting victims seek $27B, class action in lawsuit

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Victims of the Uvalde school shooting that left 21 people dead have filed a lawsuit against local and state police, the city and other school and law enforcement officials seeking $27 billion due to delays in confronting the attacker, court documents show. The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in […]
21 hours ago
The Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee discuss proposed changes to the primar...
Associated Press

Dems move to make South Carolina, not Iowa, 1st voting state

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats voted Friday to remove Iowa as the leadoff state on the presidential nominating calendar and replace it with South Carolina starting in 2024, a dramatic shakeup championed by President Joe Biden to better reflect the party’s deeply diverse electorate. The Democratic National Committee’s rule-making arm made the move to strip Iowa […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

GOP’s Joe Kent contests results of Washington state race

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — Republican Joe Kent’s campaign said Friday it intends to request a machine ballot recount of the counties within southwest Washington state’s 3rd Congressional District. “We believe the election workers did their best to ensure a fair election and count the ballots accurately,” his campaign said in a statement. “But given the […]
21 hours ago
FILE - In this May 24, 2004 file photo, a Mount Graham red squirrel darts through trees on Mount Gr...
Associated Press

Endangered red squirrel found in Arizona sees increase in population

The latest survey shows another increase in the population of the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel in the Pinaleno Mountains of Arizona.
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Sen. Sasse wins final vote to be next U of Florida president