UF Board of Trustees votes unanimously to recommend selection of Ben Sasse as president

Senator’s selection as finalist for president met by multiple protests from students

The Board of Trustees for the University of Florida voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend the selection of Nebraska U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse to serve as the university’s president.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Board of Trustees for the University of Florida voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend the selection of Nebraska U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse to serve as the university’s president.

The board meeting started with public comment, which began with the president of the graduate student council offering up criticism of Sasse.

“It’s hard for many students to envision a leader that has negative things to say about members in our community,” the student council said of Sasse, referring to his stance on LGBTQ issues.

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Though not all the commenters were against Sasse’s appointment.

“When Dr. Sasse’s name was announced, I read his most recent book, ‘Them,’ three weeks ago and I was so full of hope,” another commenter said.

Last week, UF faculty members expressed their displeasure of Sasse being named the lone finalist for the school’s president.

The Faculty Senate approved a no-confidence vote on the selection process by a margin of 67-15, the Gainesville Sun reported. The measure followed previous resolutions passed by the United Faculty of Florida union and the UF Student Senate criticizing the choice of Sasse for the job.

Sasse, a Republican in his second Senate term, has drawn criticism from some at the school for his stance on same-sex marriage and other LBGTQ issues. Others questioned his qualifications to run such a sprawling school with more than 50,000 students.

The university said the Florida Board of Governors will vote on Nov. 10 to approve Sasse for president. He is expected to step into the role in early 2023.

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About the Authors:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.