Ben Sasse pick doesn’t reflect student values

Haley Fox, René Kronlage, MK Matsuda and Emily Whitehead

On Oct. 6, the University of Florida made national news when it announced, “After months of listening to UF community input and vetting hundreds of applicants, the Presidential Search Committee has unanimously recommended United States Senator Dr. Ben Sasse as the sole finalist to become the University of Florida’s 13th president. ”

Considering the hostile political climate of the country, many were surprised by the boldness of this choice. While we understand there were many layers involved in this decision, as students we were left wondering: With such a controversial figure, whose input did the presidential search committee take into account with this recommendation?

UF Presidential finalist Sen.  Ben Sasse answers questions during an open forum discussion at Emerson Alumni Hall in Gainesville, Fla., On Monday, Oct.  10, 2022.

As students of UF, we believe a university president should have experience working at a large university before running one. Sasse’s sole experience as a university president was the five years he spent serving Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska.

Midland University is a private Lutheran college with a 1,600-person student body. It is also vastly different from UF, as we are a public institution with 35 times the number of students.

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