A private gathering hosted by the Florida commissioner of the Department of Education and the chancellor of the State University System of Florida is expected to draw 40 presidents from across the state when executives come together today, according to The Tallahassee Democrat.
But exactly why the meeting is closed to the public remains unclear.
The meeting will include presidents of members of the Florida College System and the State University System of Florida, who will discuss educational goals and share best practices, according to a statement the Florida Department of Education’s spokesperson provided to the newspaper.
Ray Rodrigues, a former Republican lawmaker and chancellor of the State University System, officially stepped into his role last month. During his time in Florida politics, Rodrigues emerged as a staunch ally of Republican governor Ron DeSantis and helped push higher education legislation that has faced significant resistance from academics, as well as legal action.
Tallahassee Community College will serve as the site for the meeting. TCC president Jim Murdaugh announced the event at a Nov. 21 Board of Trustees meeting, noting that this is the first time in his 12 years as president that the two systems have come together for discussions.
“The chancellor and commissioner really want to address things to the presidents directly, so this will be a wonderful opportunity to get together and talk,” Murdaugh said at the meeting.
The Florida Department of Education did not respond to a request from Inside Higher Ed seeking more information.