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Could a Republican politician soon be taking the helm of another Florida university?
Florida representative Randy Fine said recently that Republican governor Ron DeSantis has pitched him on the presidential post at Florida Atlantic University, Florida Today reported. Fine, who has served in the Florida House of Representatives since 2016, said that DeSantis has approached him about taking the position, but he has not yet formally applied for the role.
Fine’s term is set to end next year, but he has already filed to run for a State Senate seat.
If hired, Fine would be the third former Republican politician tapped to lead a Florida university in recent months. Former U.S. senator from Nebraska Ben Sasse was hired as president of the University of Florida in November and formally stepped into the job in February. Richard Corcoran, a former Republican Speaker of the House in Florida’s Legislature who also served as the state’s education commissioner and as a member of the Florida Board of Governors, was hired as interim president of the New College of Florida in February, following a restructuring of NCF’s board, with DeSantis appointing conservative trustees who pushed out the prior president.
Similarly, former Republican state lawmaker and DeSantis ally Ray Rodrigues was hired from a pool of only eight candidates as chancellor of the State University System of Florida in September.
FAU is currently led by an interim president, with a presidential search ongoing. Fine’s interest in the job is unclear given that he told Florida Today that he is currently “focused on the Legislature.”