Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte, who was the president of the university from 1994 to 2003, sent a letter Monday nominating Thrasher.
“During my time as president of the university, John repeatedly was the legislator who understood the need to support higher education and he always took a direct interest in the issues that related to FSU,” D’Alemberte wrote. “But for John Thrasher, there would be no medical school here at Florida State University.”
The university’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee, chaired by FSU trustee Ed Burr, is set to receive a status report today from its search consultant R. William Funk & Associates.
FSU trustees have said they want the institution’s next president to have similar academic credentials as former President Eric Barron, who is now in the same position at Penn State University.
But D’Alemberte wrote that the ability to raise money should also be considered a key factor in the selection due to a loss of resources at state schools in recent years.
“Indeed, my admiration for my successors is huge when I consider the cutback in state funding and in state programs such as the matching gift program,” he wrote. “Our priority now is getting that base funding restored and John Thrasher is the best person to accomplish this.”
Sen. John Thrasher, a St. Augustine Republican who has directed millions of state dollars to Florida State University, has a high-profile backer in his much-speculated bid to become FSU’s next president.