Mitch Evidently Started a Trend

According to Business Insider, Florida Governor Rick Scott has “pulled a Mitch” at Florida State University, appointing Trustees who then (what a coincidence!) appointed his campaign manager and crony as president.

According to The Times-Union, the state senator’s final interview with the FSU Board of Trustees Tuesday “came despite opposition to Thrasher from faculty and students expressing concern about the school’s reputation and the need for the next leader to have stellar academic credentials.”

Jennifer Proffitt, the president of the FSU chapter of the United Faculty of Florida, told The Times-Union that “It’s clear [Thrasher] does not have the qualifications to lead a research university.”

Thrasher is a former Florida house speaker and chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. He graduated from FSU for both his undergraduate and law degrees.

The Times-Union reports that Thrasher had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of students and faculty last week at an open forum. Of the close to 700 responses collected after the talk, 11% gave Thrasher ‘good’ grades, while 87% gave him ‘not good’ or ‘below average’ marks,” according to The Times-Union.

Another criticism of Thrasher is his close connections to many of the FSU trustees — most were appointed by Florida governor Rick Scott, whose campaign for re-election is managed by Thrasher. (emphasis mine)

The justification for placing politicians in these positions is that they will be good fundraisers. It is evidently irrelevant that they do not share the values of the academy–or even understand the mission of a research university. They are spectacularly unfit for the job of protecting scholarly inquiry and academic freedom.

Sic transit intellectual integrity and institutional credibility.


  1. With Mitch’s move to the Purdue presidency, an editorial in the Post-Tribune (Lake County) stated that this was a crass move even for Indiana, and that they were surprised there was so little reaction from the public. This was such a glaring example of ethical depravity, all totally open to a public that really didn’t seem to understand or care to understand the meaning of what was happening. So this is a lesson: To get by with outrageous behavior you need someone with the the cynical chutzpa to do it, and a public with the apathy to let it pass. Like they say about “when good men do nothing…”

  2. Has any other state followed Daniels’ trend of privatizating/outsourcing their toll road to a company who filed bankruptcy?

  3. FSU also accepted donations from the Koch Brothers with strings attached regarding textbooks and professors with ties to Koch approved economic theory.

  4. Rick Scott, who was elected Florida Governor simply by promising jobs to replace those lost to recession caused by the federal application of the non governance he continues to practice, apparently meant jobs for his cronies.

    Well, at least he wasn’t lying.

  5. In past times public officials weren’t so blatant about cronyism and tried to keep it quiet; but now it doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s another step toward USA becoming a Third World democracy.

  6. Mitch, on the other hand, may have been prescient. After the owners of the toll road file for bankruptcy, the state can buy it back for 10cents on the dollar!

  7. Joy; do you really believe Pence is smart enough to take advantage of this bargain? And will it be a bargain; I believe I read that maintenance and upkeep had not been done on the toll road, it might not be worth even 10 cents on the dollar.

  8. You will see more disturbing trends for these “flagship” universities in the future, and rest assured, they have nothing to do with quality education and everything to do with research and athletic “prestige”. I suspect Purdue is heading toward becoming a private university like Northwestern.
    The reason why there is no public outcry against these kinds of moves is that people are brainwashed into wanting to share in the “prestige” by sending their children there. In reality, their children would get a better education at the so-called “lower tier” universities in the state. Prestige is not the same thing as excellence–the former depends on perception, which can be manipulated, and the latter depends on substance, which cannot.

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