FSU Board of Trustees to begin process for national presidential search

President John Thrasher
President John Thrasher

Florida State University President John Thrasher and Board of Trustees Chair Ed Burr today announced that due to the potential impact of COVID-19 on a national presidential search, the time is right to begin planning for FSU’s future.

They shared the news at the conclusion of today’s meeting of the Board of Trustees. Burr said while the board will begin the search process earlier than anticipated, he has no plans to name an interim president. Thrasher will remain in office until a new president can take the helm.

Recognizing the challenges of conducting a presidential search during the COVID-19 pandemic, Burr said the board will take as much time as needed to ensure a thorough and comprehensive process. He said the search will be open, thoughtful and deliberate and will include input from the campus community and other university stakeholders.

“These are unusual times,” Burr said. “It is incumbent on this board to ensure a smooth transition.”

Thrasher, an FSU alumnus who has served as president since November 2014, said the time is right to begin planning for his transition as he looks toward a future where he can focus on his family and pursue other interests.

“These past six years have been the most energizing and rewarding of my professional life,” he said. “Knowing what my Florida State degrees have done for me, I have long believed in the transformative power of higher education. So, it has been an honor and a privilege for Jean and me to contribute to this institution that has changed so many lives.”

Thrasher said he is proud of everything that administrators, faculty, staff and students have accomplished by working together, including creating a strategic plan, raising $1 billion for the university’s capital campaign, expanding the research enterprise, enrolling and graduating the brightest students in the university’s history, and being recognized as one of the Top 20 public universities in the nation.

Burr thanked Thrasher for his remarkable leadership.

“As a board we face our own great challenge — finding a president who will continue the incredible trajectory of success set forth by John Thrasher,” Burr said. “With the guidance of this board and the support of the Board of Governors, I will begin putting the wheels in motion to begin a national search and the naming of a presidential search committee.”

A special board meeting will be scheduled in the coming weeks to discuss the establishment of a presidential search committee as well as the search process, Burr said.

In the meantime, Thrasher said he is committed to continuing to work on the goals and objectives outlined in the university’s strategic plan.

“We still have work to do,” he said. “I assure you that I will continue to work tirelessly with our leadership team to continue FSU’s positive momentum.”