State Sen. John Thrasher has been selected as Florida State University’s next president.
The school’s Board of Trustees voted 11-2 for Thrasher, who received his undergraduate and law degrees from the university.
Thrasher has long been one of the most powerful lawmakers in the state. Over the years, he has helped secure millions in funding for his alma mater. The medical school at FSU bears Thrasher’s name.
Thrasher and three other candidates were interviewed by the board today after all four were forwarded as finalists by the search committee. The other three candidates had academic backgrounds.
Trustees heard from a parade of faculty and students who opposed Thrasher’s selection, saying a candidate with an academic background was better suited for the job.
The vocal opposition to Thrasher began almost immediately after his name surfaced in March. It accelerated when the former search consultant suggested the search be put on hold to allow Thrasher to be the only candidate interviewed.
That didn’t happen, though, and the search consultant was replaced.
Thrasher said last week that he was “at peace” with the process and ready for the long process to be over. Had another candidate been selected, he said, “If someone out there is better than me, I will walk away with my head high.”