Applications sought for vacancy on UF Board of Trustees

Published: Friday, April 18, 2014 at 1:43 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 18, 2014 at 1:43 p.m.

Want to help shape the future of Florida’s flagship university as it reaches for national top 10 status?

The Florida Board of Governors is looking for someone to replace Marshall Criser III on the University of Florida Board of Trustees. Criser gave up his seat on the 13-member board on Jan. 1 to accept the job as chancellor of the State University System.

Criser is the former president of AT&T for Florida, the son of former UF President Marshall Criser Jr., and a longtime advocate of higher education in Florida.

The vacancy comes at a time when UF is undertaking an ambitious program to become one of the top 10 public research universities in the nation. It has been charged by the Legislature with creating and operating a four-year online bachelor’s program and has been given $75 million over the next five years to hire a fleet of top research professors to help push many of its programs to the next level.

“As a pre-eminent university, we fully expect that UF will be one of the country’s top 10 universities in the next five years,” Board of Governors Chairman Mori Hosseini said in a news release. “The trustee to serve in this position will have a huge role in steering that ship.”

The Board of Trustees is the legal owner and final authority of the university. The board “holds the institution’s resources in trust and is responsible for their efficient and effective use,” according to the board’s website.

The board is made up of six members appointed by the governor and five appointed by the Board of Governors, whose members are also appointees of the governor. The chair of the faculty senate and president of the student government also serve on the board.

Each citizen appointee is subject to approval by the Florida Senate and must at least meet the requirements of the Code of Ethics for public officers outlined in Chapter 112 of the Florida Statutes. Other general qualifications considered include:

-- Prior experience on any profit or not-for-profit boards.

-- Professional business experience.

-- A standing in the community and public service experience.

-- A willingness to perform all trustee responsibilities and commit the time necessary.

Trustees are responsible for setting policy decisions that affect the budget and academic programs of the university to ensure that it meets the standards set by the Legislature. There is no residency requirement, and no minimum qualifications for the post, nor does the trustee have to be an alumnus of UF. They cannot be a registered lobbyist or elected official.

Current trustees include several lawyers, doctors and prominent business leaders. Most are UF alumni.

Trustees receive no pay but can be reimbursed for travel and per diem costs.

Anyone interested in applying for the position must complete an application and submit it to the Board of Governors Trustee Nominating Steering Committee by May 16. The term runs through Jan. 6, 2015.

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