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Two-week delay announced in selection of next FGCU president

FGCU BOT CHAIR BLAKE GABLE.JPG
FGCU
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Special to WGCU
The selection of the next president of FGCU has been delayed for two weeks. After FGCU’s Board of Trustees conducted final interviews of the three presidential search finalists, Tod A. Laursen, Ph.D., Robert G. Gregerson, Ph.D., and Susana V. Rivera-Mills, Ph.D., earlier on Wednesday and returned from lunch, board trustee and chairman Blake Gable announced the delay.

The selection of the next president of FGCU has been delayed for two weeks.

After FGCU’s Board of Trustees conducted final interviews of the three presidential search finalists, Tod A. Laursen, Ph.D., Robert G. Gregerson, Ph.D., and Susana V. Rivera-Mills, Ph.D., earlier on Wednesday and returned from lunch, board trustee and chairman Blake Gable announced the delay.

"Trustees, I'd like to recommend a slight change in plans," Gable said. "I know that all of you who are here are awaiting the big moment. But, I just had a conversation with the chair of the board of governors."

In that conversation, Gable said that while Board of Governors chairman Brian Lamb expressed a willingness to be accommodating to FGCU, especially given the impacts of Hurricane Ian in SWFL, it was being considered "atypical" for a decision on selecting a new state university president to come forward only a few business days before a Board of Governors meeting, which is set Nov. 9 and 10.

"What I'd like to propose to the trustees is that we convene a special meeting in two weeks," Gable suggested. "The board of governors does play a role in the process..."

Gable thanked the trustees and all who worked toward having the selection completed Wednesday but said it would be better to implement the delay.

"We can come back in two weeks time ... we will then have public comment ... but I think it makes more sense to have that all together on the same time frame," Gable said. "This is something we can work out."

Gable conceded that the delay was not how the selection had been envisioned but said that the Board of Governors have several university presidential confirmations to make at their next meeting.

"There's just a lot going on that we need to be cognizant of," Gable said. "We gave it a good shot ... I think we can make this work."

A vote was taken on the delay and approved with one vote cast against the delay.

The delay was then communicated to the candidates.

The university said hat the emergency Board of Trustees meeting will be announced as soon as arrangements are made.

The three finalists for FGCU's presidency made on-campus visits this week and last to engage with students, faculty, staff, and community stakeholders during public forums through Tuesday.

The three were described in a university release about the delay as "... incredibly impressive and well-suited to become the next president of FGCU."

dr_martin.jpg
Outgoing FGCU president Mike Martin

According to the search timeline, the transfer of duties is expected to take place following President Mike Martin’s retirement at the end of the calendar year.

FGCU, founded 1991 as Florida’s 10th state university, began classes in August 1997.

Martin became FGCU’s fourth president on July 1, 2017, following Dr. Wilson G. Bradshaw’s retirement. He has more than four decades of experience in public higher-education institutions across the nation, including the University of Florida.

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