Nominees sought for Presidential Search Advisory Committee

Jim Smith, chairman of the Florida State University Board of Trustees, has issued the following message to members of the Board of Trustees and the University community:

TO: Members, Florida State University Board of Trustees and the University Community
FROM: Jim Smith, Chair
DATE: September 1, 2009
SUBJECT: Presidential Selection Process

As you know, on June 17, 2009, President Wetherell announced his plans to step down as president of The Florida State University. The Board of Trustees accepted his resignation with regret.

As chairman of the Board of Trustees I appointed Betty Steffens (chair), Joyce Ingram (vice chair) and Jayne Standley (faculty representative) to staff a presidential search planning process and directed the group to review the presidential search process previously utilized by the BOT. In addition, this group was asked to make a recommendation on the use of a search firm.

The search planning staff reviewed potential search firms and recommended Academic Search, Inc., senior consultant John Hicks to conduct this presidential search. The Board of Trustees approved the recommendation at a conference call held on July 21, 2009.

At that meeting, Frank Murphy, assistant vice president for University Relations & Advancement and director of University Communications, explained the plan for communicating the presidential search to the university community and the public. The website, has been launched to ensure full information is available about the search. Comments and feedback on the presidential search may be submitted to

The next steps in the process are to determine the qualifications and job description for the next president and the composition of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC). Mr. Hicks has been contacting Trustees for their input regarding the qualifications and job description. He is also scheduling meetings on campus to receive input from various university groups.

After reviewing the structure and composition of similar searches, receiving input from the faculty and also obtaining the professional advice of Mr. Hicks, the composition and structure of the PSAC which I have approved is outlined below:

Search Advisory Committee Membership

Constituency Representation Entity Forwarding Names
Deans 1 Council of Deans
Faculty 4 Faculty Senate
Students-Undergraduate 2 Student Government
Students-Graduate 1 Congress of Graduate Students
Staff 1 Vice Presidents
Donors 2 Foundation
Alumni 2 Alumni Association
Athletics 2 Boosters
Research Foundation 1 Research Foundation
Community 2 Board of Trustees Chair
Chairman 1 Board of Trustees Chair


Based on this structure, I am asking the above-mentioned entities to nominate their representative(s). Please send your nominations, including contact information, to Ms. Betty Steffens,, by September 10, 2009.

At the September 17, 2009, BOT meeting, the trustees will officially name the members of PSAC and consider the qualifications and job description of the next president. I ask that those who have been nominated to be on the PSAC be prepared to meet in the afternoon of September 17 to discuss the next steps of the search process during a meeting with Mr. Hicks.

Thank you.