Machen enthused by Gov. Scott's commitment to UF

Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 6:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 6:47 p.m.

The exact reason why University of Florida President Bernie Machen agreed to postpone retirement may be buried in the numbers of Gov. Rick Scott’s next budget proposal.

Machen would not address specifics Wednesday about what he discussed with Scott or what convinced him he would have the resources necessary to pursue top-10 status for UF.

He wrote in an email that he would not comment on how long he would be willing to stay, but he noted that Scott will reveal the nature of the governor’s commitment to UF’s goal soon.

“The commitments should become clear when the governor releases his budget in the next few weeks,” Machen wrote.

When Machen agreed to remain at Tigert Hall at Scott’s request, it signaled a surprising end to a six-month investment of time and money to find UF’s next president.

Last year, UF hired Miramar Beach-based search firm Greenwood/Asher & Associates to work on the search for $95,000, but the university will pay a lesser amount because the search was suspended, according to UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes. She said the final figure has yet to be determined.

Scott Nygren, a UF professor who sat on the search committee and a former trustee, said Wednesday that he is hopeful that the announcement is a positive development.

“The governor seems to be committing himself to some substantial support,” he said. “I’m hoping that the Legislature will be in agreement, and that we can make a difference.”

Contact Joey Flechas at 338-3166 or

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