Academia is up in arms. The board of trustees at Florida State University (FSU) just named a Republican to be its president.
Something called the FSU Progress Coalition just posted its concerns on the Academe blog maintained by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP):
“Throughout the presidential search process at Florida State University, students were told that their voices were being heard. But really? Who was listening? The media was listening, the nation was listening, FSU alumni, faculty, and staff were listening. But the corporate/political elite, the 11 members of the Board of Trustees that voted for John Thrasher as FSU’s President – closed off their ears and turned off their minds. Why should they listen really? Their decision was already made for them. Their votes were gleaned through Florida’s own sordid ‘good ol’ boy’ system.
“So . . . When students spoke up at the Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) meetings, we were ignored. When we started national petitions and sent thousands of emails calling for more student votes on the PSAC, we were infantilized and dismissed. When we collected support of national organizations (AFT, NEA, USSA, AAUP, and others), the Board of Trustees cancelled its meeting, closed its doors, ignored our emails, and blatantly dismissed our comments on the Presidential Search Advisory Committee website. When we researched and passed out information, the FSU administration threatened to arrest us on forty year old posting statutes developed to regulate war protestors in the 1970’s.
“All of this so that the Board of Trustees could do exactly what it set out to do all along –to install a three time Koch funded ‘ALEC Legislator of the Year’ as FSU’s President.” By the way, ALEC refers to the American Legislative Exchange Council.