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Thursday, Oct 02, 2014
Education

Top picks to run Florida university system named

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TAMPA — A search committee has released a short list of four candidates to run the State University System, which comprises the state’s 12 public universities.

The committee of the state Board of Governors will interview four candidates next week from business and academia. They are:

Marshall Criser III, president of AT&T Florida and a longtime leader in Florida higher education. Criser is chairman of the Higher Education Coordinating Council, vice chair of the University of Florida’s board of trustees and a member of the Scripps Research Institute board of trustees in California.

Mark Drummond, who most recently served as chief operating officer and provost of Higher Colleges of Technology, a system of 17 college campuses located throughout the United Arab Emirates. He has been chancellor of California’s community college system and president of Eastern Washington University.

Jim Purcell, commissioner of the Louisiana Board of Regents. He coordinates efforts of that state’s 14 universities, two health science centers, and 16 community and technical colleges. Purcell has served as head of the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and led research and strategic planning for Oklahoma’s college and university system.

Bruce Rafert, provost at North Dakota State University. Rafert was previously vice provost and dean of the graduate school at Clemson University. He is a University of Florida alumnus and former professor of physics at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.

The candidates will be interviewed Tuesday in Orlando. Finalists will meet the full Board of Governors at its Nov. 20-21 meeting in Miami.

Florida’s 12 public universities enroll more than 335,000 students, making it the second-largest public university system in the nation.

jstockfisch@tampatrib.com

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