FSU's president on a top-secret mission at UF?


Published: Tuesday, February 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 1, 2005 at 1:02 a.m.
Killing time last week between meetings at the University of Florida, Florida State University President T.K. Wetherell and FSU Vice President of University Relations Lee Hinkle slipped into a campus tour for about 15 prospective students and their parents.
Tipped off to their conspicuous suit-wearing guests, student guides Allison Sirica and Ryan Merkel agreed privately not to make any FSU wisecracks.
They usually throw one in about FSU football coach Bobby Bowden coming to Shands at UF for surgery some years back.
Wetherell almost blew his cover, though, when he answered someone's question about steam rising from a culvert near a dorm, Hinkle said.
But it was no clandestine mission by rival administrators.
"This is something that most university people do when they go to another campus," Hinkle said.
And Sirica and Merkel, who said they were nervous, earned positive reviews from Hinkle as being "really, really informed."
"If there's anyone you want to impress, it's the president of FSU," said Sirica, a 19-year-old studying public relations and political science.
  • Now it's Kimberly's turn: Last year, Katie Olson, a 13-year-old eighth-grader, became a local celebrity after she won the Alachua County Spelling Bee and advanced to sixth place in the national bee broadcast on ESPN.
    Now it's her younger sister Kimberly's turn.
    Last year, the sisters went head-to-head in the final round of the local home-school competition that Katie won. With Katie ineligible this year, Kimberly won.
    She will be one of about 50 students competing at the 2005 Alachua County Spelling Bee, to be held at J.J. Finley Elementary auditorium at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Only students in the fifth through eighth grades can enter the bee.
    "She's super excited," father Eric Olson of Gainesville said of Kimberly, a 12-year-old seventh-grader. "She's been studying for months.
    "Katie's been cheering her on and helping her study."
  • Secret candidate: It's no secret the University of Florida is hiring a new vice president for human resources.
    But it was virtually a secret that Paul Michaud, chief of human resources at Florida International University in Miami, was brought in at 8 a.m. Monday to meet with search committee members.
    The meeting was not posted on the committee's Web site, a link provided through UF's general counsel's office and the office of human resources. As far as anyone knows, no public notice went out.
    Chalk it up to miscues between the two offices, said Steve Orlando, a UF spokesman.
    "There was confusion, and it just didn't get done," Orlando said.
    Candidates Kyle Cavanaugh of the University of Texas-Austin and Loretta Harper of the University of Utah, will be in for interviews on Feb. 9 and Feb. 10.
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