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UF search committee recommends Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse to be next school president

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Posted at 4:38 PM, Oct 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-06 16:38:25-04

The University of Florida Presidential Search Committee has recommended U.S. Senator Dr. Ben Sasse be the sole finalist to be the 13th president of the University of Florida.

According to his bio, Sasses earned a Ph.D. from Yale University and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University. Sasse spent five years as president of Midland University, and he was also a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin.

“This is right for the University of Florida, right for the state of Florida and right for the Sasse family,” said Rahul Patel, chair of the Presidential Search Committee, in a statement. “Ben brings intellectual curiosity, a belief in the power and potential of American universities, and an unmatched track record of leadership spanning higher education, government and the private sector.”

The University said the recruitment process included "outreach to more than 700 leaders within and outside higher education" and that in the search, nine candidates were sitting presidents at major research universities, and seven were from AAU universities.

“The single biggest challenge our nation faces is the radical disruption of work,” Sasse said in a statement. “Technology is changing everything about where, when, why, what and how Americans work — and so it's changing our homes, neighborhoods and communities too. Lifelong work in one sector will never again be the norm for most Americans, and therefore lifelong learning must necessarily become the norm for most Americans. Higher education is going to need to change and grow — and rethink its forms — again and again.”

The school said Sasse would visit the campus on Monday, October 10, to meet with students, faculty, and other members of the University community. Afterward, participants will be able to share feedback with the school, and that feedback will be reviewed by the Board of Trustees prior to interviewing Sasse on November 1.

Senator Sasse was one of seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. He's expected to step down from the Senate by the end of the year.