Conservative senator on track to become university president after unanimous vote

The announcement revealed the senator was one of 700 possible candidates narrowing down the search to 12 nine of which were ‘sitting presidents at major research universities, and seven were from AAU universities.’

Next week the senator is scheduled to visit campus to ‘meet with students, faculty and other members of the University community.’

Nebraska Senator Dr. Ben Sasse will potentially be stepping down from his office to become the next University of Florida (UF) president.

On Thursday, UF, located in Gainseville, announced that its Presidential Search Committee unanimously voted to recommend Senator Sasse to the Board of Trustees for the “13th president of the University of Florida.”

The announcement revealed that Senator Sasse was one of 700 possible candidates, which was narrowed to a dozen. Of those candidates, 9 were “sitting presidents at major research universities, and seven were from AAU universities.” 

The Chair of the Presidential Search Committee Rahul Patel said in the announcement that naming Senator Sasse to the position “is right for the University of Florida, right for the state of Florida, and right for the Sasse family.”

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“Ben brings intellectual curiosity, a belief in the power and potential of American universities, and an unmatched track record of leadership spanning higher education, government, and the private sector,” Patel stated. “His vision, humility, integrity, incredible personable nature, and deep concern for humanity are all traits that will serve the UF community exceptionally well.”

Senator Sasse called UF “the most interesting university in America right now” and said the university is “uniquely positioned to lead this country through an era of disruption.”

“The caliber of teaching and research at UF is unmistakable, carried out through the core principles of shared governance and academic freedom,” Sasse stated. “I’m thrilled about the opportunity to work alongside one of the nation’s most outstanding faculties.”

Senator Sasse received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from Yale University. Sasse was also the university president of Midland University in Fremont, Nebraska for five years. He has served as Nebraska’s senator since January 2015.

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On Monday, Oct 10 Dr. Sasse is scheduled to visit the UF campus to “meet with students, faculty, and other members of the University community.”

The UF Board of Trustees is scheduled to interview Senator Sasse on November 1 and review feedback from the UF community. 

Campus Reform contacted Sasse, Patel, UF, Harvard, Yale, and Midland. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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