Home Faculty meeting The Board of Governors votes to hire Ray Rodrigues as Chancellor

The Board of Governors votes to hire Ray Rodrigues as Chancellor

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The Florida Board of Governors (BOG) voted unanimously to enter into negotiations with the senator. Ray Rodrigues to be the next Chancellor of the Florida State University System. The hiring decision came at the same meeting where governors honored the outgoing Chancellor Marshal Criser.

Rodrigues, an Estero Republican serving in the Legislative Assembly for the past 10 years, expressed his gratitude and hailed Florida’s higher education system as the best in the country.

“Florida has avoided the mistakes that other states have made, either neglecting their higher education budgets or offering the wrong incentives and focusing on enrollment rather than student success.”

The sitting senator also shared a personal biography as a first-generation college graduate, whose parents first set foot on campus to witness his Berry College debut.

Rodrigues then worked in the offices of General Electric under legendary CEO Jack Welch before taking a finance position at Florida Gulf Coast University. He worked at the school — where his wife, Ruthis also employed — since 2006.

A national search conducted by the BOG resulted in a recommendation of Rodrigues on candidates from all over the world. A research committee interviewed Rodrigues and Dr. Lori Cromwellbusiness director of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, as finalists.

But Rodrigues’ political connections prove hard to ignore. He surprised the political world in July when he opted out of seeking a second term in the Senate, news that broke after the government. Ron DeSantis announcement he would endorse the chairman of the Lee County Republican Executive Committee jonathan martin as Rodrigues’ successor.

The senator later told Florida Politics that he made the decision not to run in hopes of getting the chancellorship. DeSantis appoints the BOG members, but the board itself ultimately had a say in who would succeed Criser, who announced his retirement shortly after Rodrigues decided not to seek re-election.

Rodrigues served eight years in the House, including two years as Republican majority leader. He was elected in 2020 to the Senate, where he chaired the redistribution committee. During his legislative career, he also worked on a number of higher education bills, including a controversial new law requiring faculty to be surveyed about philosophies and ideologies.

But he also worked closely with university presidents and the Board of Governors on budget and policy priorities that were ultimately taken up by the Legislative Assembly.

During the BOG meeting, Rodrigues praised the governor for his leadership in the state.

“I’m just thrilled to be in a state that has a governor who champions higher education,” Rodrigues said. “He said the goal was to have the highest quality education at the most affordable price.”

The BOG at its meeting, held on the University of West Florida campus, also passed a resolution commending Criser for his service.

“We have been very clear, I hope, about what you mean to us,” the BOG chairman said. Brian Lamb.


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