AP

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

Nov 9, 2022, 11:56 AM | Updated: 2:28 pm

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

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

1 day ago

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

2 days ago

This undated image provided by Mikel Desmond shows his brother Marcus Tessier, who turned up in Dem...

Associated Press

Missing teen with autism found in New Mexico, about 200 miles away from his Arizona home

A missing teen with autism has been found in New Mexico — about 200 miles away from his home in southern Arizona.

2 days ago

A newly released report on last year’s fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a group of bicycl...

Associated Press

Report suggests steering of vehicle that caused fatal Goodyear bicycle crash worked fine

A new report on last year’s fatal Goodyear bicycle crash has cast doubts about the driver’s claim the vehicle’s steering locked up.

3 days ago

Israeli Embassy...

Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C.

5 days ago

Biden and Trump to visit Mexico border Thursday immigration...

Associated Press

Biden and Trump both plan trips to the Mexico border Thursday, dueling for advantage on immigration

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will make dueling trips to the U.S-Mexico border on Thursday.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Sanderson Ford

The best ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day and give back to the community

Veterans Day is fast approaching and there's no better way to support our veterans than to donate to the Military Assistance Mission.

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