Florida Rep. Randy Fine could be FAU’s next president

Rep. Fine told The Florida Standard, a political blog, that he’s been approached by Gov. Ron DeSantis and encouraged to apply for FAU’s presidency.

Rep. Randy Fine. Source of Republican House Majority.

Rep. Randy Fine. Source of Republican House Majority.

Jessica Abramsky, News Editor

Editor’s Note: This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis approached Republican Florida House of Representative Randy Fine and encouraged him to apply to be the next president of Florida Atlantic University, FAU Associate Vice President of Media Relations and Public Affairs Joshua Glanzer wrote in a statement. 

Fine became a representative of southern Brevard County, Fla., in 2016 after a career in the gambling industry. According to his voting records, Fine voted in support of the 15 week abortion ban and limiting class discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Fine did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.

Grant Stern has spread rumors on Twitter regarding Fine’s potential status as FAU’s ninth president. A tweet by The Florida Standard, a conservative blog, says that Fine has been encouraged to apply for the presidency. Fine retweeted this to his page. 

“Fine would seem to make a logical choice for DeSantis’s policies on education. As part of his Senate run, Fine announced that he would be fighting ‘wokeism’ and decried controversial topics such as drag queen story time, health care for transgender children, illegal immigration and critical race theory, putting the culture war front and center in his campaign. Throughout his political career, he’s made education a top focus,” the Florida Today reports.

Desantis’ Communications Director Taryn Fenske said that Fine would be a “good candidate” for the position, reports the Sun Sentinel.

FAU is aware of the speculation Fine has been approached, Glanzer wrote in a statement.

“Rep. Fine is a wonderful servant to his constituency and the state. However, the FAU Presidential Search Committee will follow a strict process to determine FAU’s 9th president,” Glanzer wrote.

Glanzer said that the Florida Board of Governors Regulations are still in the early stages. State law holds candidates’ identities in confidence until any finalists are identified by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) Search.

“We will follow the process in accordance with state law, and we will search far and wide,” Glanzer said.

Recently, FAU Faculty Senate President Kimberly Dunn sent an email to faculty regarding the news coverage on DeSantis approaching a state representative about serving as FAU’s next president.

“In light of this action, many of our colleagues have expressed concern about the integrity of the search process and the ability of the search committee to conduct a thorough national search and attract applicants most qualified to be our next president,” Dunn wrote.

She wrote that faculty members who have concerns about any aspect of the search should email Andrew LaPlant and ask him to forward your email to AGB Search and the Board of Trustees. Dunn continues explaining that faculty can copy her on their emails so she can confirm that they were shared with both groups. 

AGB is currently conducting listening sessions with the community to find out what FAU wants in a president but did not mention that Fine has been encouraged to apply. The Faculty Senate has made it clear during multiple meetings that they feel strongly about having a president with a background in academia, not politics.

The FAU Faculty Union did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.

Jessica Abramsky is the News Editor for the University Press. For more information on this article or others, you can reach Jessica at [email protected] or DM her on Instagram @jessabramsky.