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Ben Sasse next UF president?

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by wgbgator, Oct 6, 2022.

  1. gatordavisl

    gatordavisl VIP Member

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    northern MN
    In what way(s)?
     
  2. ncargat1

    ncargat1 VIP Member

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    It is sad when Florida State has hired a better president, and it is not even close.
     
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  3. tampajack1

    tampajack1 Premium Member

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    Sasse might turn out to be a fine president, but he is the least qualified candidate that UF has hired for president in a long, long time. He certainly looks like a political appointee.
     
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  4. oragator1

    oragator1 Premium Member

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    FSU hired a VP from Harvard, which is basically third level down or more there. They went for the brand name, they should have hired the provost from UNC, would have been a much better hire IMO. Someone much more familiar with what they want to be.

    as for our hire, I am disappointed, but willing to give it a chance.
    I don’t even dislike Sasse, but it’s going to politicize the office (not necessarily even his fault, the orange one is already tweeting about us), he’s isn’t a true academic which may hurt our perception nationally which we have fought so hard to finally start to have, and I think it’s the perfect wrong time to further potentially alienate the faculty after what’s happened in the last year.

    the best case scenario is that many of his policy positions were because of who he was representing and he turns out to be much more empathetic towards what is a relatively liberal campus than we might fear. And his connections net us big research and donation dollars.

    but the more I ponder it, the more I think 3 things:

    1- massive gamble
    2- faculty needs to be his first priority
    3- he better knock the first few months out of the park to allay the fears around him.
     
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  5. OklahomaGator

    OklahomaGator Jedi Administrator Moderator VIP Member

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    And Urban Meyer
     
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  6. soflgator

    soflgator Premium Member

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    Let me clarify then- when has Sasse been intolerant. I admittedly did not follow his career much but no one so far has delineated why he should be delineated an intolerant human being. Your view appears to be conservative automatically =intolerant. I do not subscribe to that view and will not label someone a racist, intolerant or other pejorative terms without actual proof. And it appears, from those who have posted on this board with inside knowledge of the selection process, that some persons ideologically left approved of the selection. I presume they should also be labeled intolerant as well.

    As to the second point, agreeing to address and counteract intolerance/racism is fine and laudable. I was referring to the multitude of occasions where conservative organizations or persons on campus have been harassed, excluded, fired, or physically attacked which is appears to be done with more regularity (on campuses) by liberals. Disagreeing and debating is fine, and, in fact, is quite good for the country-physical attacks, personal insults, and threats of reprisal are not. And that goes both ways.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2022
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  7. soflgator

    soflgator Premium Member

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    These are valid concerns. His qualifications etc, the effect of his hiring on the university, and whether he can do the job should be the primary concern.
     
  8. WarDamnGator

    WarDamnGator GC Hall of Fame

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    He was president when I was there, that hip youngster who called a black man on the board of regents an “Oreo” to his face, apparently thinking it was funny, then clarified that he meant he was “black on the outside and white on the inside”…. Hard to imagine how smart people can be so dumb….
     
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  9. oragator1

    oragator1 Premium Member

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    i mentioned it once here but he taught a class while at UF, a seminar class on Latin American history. It was only 12 of us maybe? He taught the first week, and then we each had to teach a week. Most brilliant man I have met. But even in that class, we would talk about things going on, he we against changing “we are the boys” over sexism claims. Basically said tradition is tradition.
    One week we had lunch at the presidents mansion for some reason. I can say as smart as he is, his wife wore the pants in that house. Nice lady, but she was not to be trifled with.
    He gave me a A too, which was nice.
     
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  10. ajoseph

    ajoseph Premium Member

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    And Spurrier
     
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  11. homer

    homer GC Hall of Fame

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    It’s been said about a lot of people so what’s your point? :)
     
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  12. GatorBen

    GatorBen Premium Member

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    I mean he was an assistant secretary at HHS, which would seem to alleviate one of the biggest concerns people seem to be voicing: he has a proven ability to keep an unwieldy bureaucracy on the tracks despite it being staffed primarily with liberals who you can’t fire.

    ;)
     
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  13. ncargat1

    ncargat1 VIP Member

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    FSU hired a VP of Harvard who spent 22 years teaching chemistry, and then became Dean of the Chemistry department and ultimate ended up being VP of Research for Carnegie Mellon. A position that allowed him to promote industry-university research partnerships, which is something FSU desperately needs. He also founded 2 companies and is recognized as an innovative thinker, someone who knows how to get things funded and a staunch promoter of women and minorities in STEM.

    So:
    Experienced teacher
    Experienced researcher
    Experienced administrator at Carnegie Mellon and Harvard
    Experienced in university/industry cooperation and funding
    Major promoter of minorities in STEM and overall diversity

    He is basically the exact opposite of what UF just hired.

    As for Sasse, his legacy was attempting to eliminate tenure and quelling a faculty revolt at the tiny high school-like college he was President of in Nebraska (actually, not even large enough to be a high school in most Florida cities). He has almost no teaching experience, no research experience, no experience as an administrator of a major university and no experience promoting cooperation...especially as a highly partisan Senator.

    Honestly, other than being a political hack, it is not clear how he is even qualified to teach at UF, let alone lead UF?
     
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  14. G8tas

    G8tas GC Hall of Fame

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    I haven't followed the thread and don't know anything about Sasse outside of politics. I just hope that he has at least 5 years of University leadership experience
     
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  15. Gator715

    Gator715 GC Hall of Fame

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    When everything you disagree with or don't like is "intolerance," you're not being tolerant of true "intolerance," you're just being intolerant.

    Sasse is a politician, I understand the disappointment if you don't share the same political views. But presidents of other universities have been outspokenly liberal in the past and have even run for office as Democrats after their time, Donna Shalala immediately comes to mind.

    I don't expect liberals to like the pick based on the past political track record, but don't expect me not to like it just because of his political track record. The notion that universities have generally not been politicized in favor of the left, anyways, is a complete farce.
     
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  16. Gator715

    Gator715 GC Hall of Fame

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    By the way, people are talking about these concerns about how hiring Sasse could very well damage the perception of the University of Florida nationally.

    If that is because he is a Republican, what does that say about "academic freedom" at universities? The pressure to espouse and support liberal talking points is very real. And when that is furthered by the people who evaluate universities and by the administration from the top down, what you end up with is an echo chamber that just tells "the right people" what they want to hear.

    That should not be the education any of us desire for our children.

    That said, should we make hiring US Senators as university presidents the norm? Probably not. Over time, that would just further politicize a position that should not be politicized.
     
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  17. 108

    108 Premium Member

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  18. oragator1

    oragator1 Premium Member

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    I think the perception gets to a few things.
    First, that we hired a politician. Second, one who already has Trump tweeting about UF and people are screaming about his past votes, which means it is politically polarizing. Minimal academic experience, and our last three hires were all stellar academics.
     
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  19. Gator715

    Gator715 GC Hall of Fame

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    A lot of snowflakes on Twitter are threatening to stop donating to UF because they can't handle a president who disagrees with them politically.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2022
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  20. Gator715

    Gator715 GC Hall of Fame

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    It's politically polarizing in part because he's a US Senator, but also because one side is generally not tolerant of opposing views. Conservatives have been conditioned to accept liberally outspoken administrations, and they generally just go along to get along.

    Now, we have a small group of really outspoken and really angry people, and we're supposed to let them dictate the terms. That's the sort of stuff that made universities so left-leaning in the first place. That's the sort of thing that creates echo chambers.

    Does that mean we should have hired Sasse, or that Sasse will be good? Not necessarily. I sure as Hell don't know. But the most outspoken and angry people seem to be hating the hire more than anything because he's "intolerant," which really just means he's a Republican.

    I understand some degree of skepticism. I'm mostly talking about the worst and angriest reactions. And to be honest, apart from some unwarranted jabs on Republicans as a whole (par for the course on Too Hot), I'm surprised how reasonable this thread has been, specifically regarding Sasse becoming the next president. I've definitely seen much worse on this board.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2022
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