FAU Faculty Want Something Illegal – Stacy Volnick As President
3FAU smelled like a rose until a new president search was conducted that stinks to high heaven. This week, multiple articles stated that FAU faculty, spearheaded by FAU Faculty Senate President Kim Dunn, who served on the new president search committee, would like to see interim President Stacy Volnick offered the president job permanently. The only problem is that what they want to do is illegal, yet no one, including Chair Brad Levine, Kim Dunn, and Stacy Volnick herself, has mentioned this to the press when they’ve been quoted.
An investigation into perceived “anomalies” during the new FAU president search will conclude this November. By now, most know that Governor DeSantis’s recommended candidate, Representative Randy Fine R-Brevard County, was asked if he was a biological or transgendered male, which anyone outside of those being questioned knows is an outrageous and unacceptable question to ask any job candidate. The search firm hired by FAU Board of Trustees Brad Levine was an odd choice, given that this firm had previously been let go by Florida Gulf Coast University.
This search firm asked the candidates about sexual orientation and gender identity. They said that candidates had to answer the question if they were “other” regarding gender. This was required. They also were asked about preferred personal pronouns, but answering that question was optional. Then FAU hired outside legal counsel to render a “we did nothing wrong” opinion regarding a straw poll conducted to narrow down the field of candidates. The attorney hired was a politically connected Democrat who just happened to have been on the opposing side of a legal battle with Rep. Fine.
The Sun Sentinel reported that;
If the FAU Board of Trustees accepts the recommendation that came Monday from the university’s Faculty Senate and the State University System Board of Governors confirms, Volnick would be given a three-year contract. This would eliminate the three finalists selected by a university search committee and a fourth candidate, State Rep. Randy Fine, who was not a finalist but received the support of Gov. Ron DeSantis and many faculty believe may still be in the running.
They go on to say the only thing that matters;
Volnick, who was named interim president in late 2022 after President John Kelly stepped down, was not allowed to apply for the permanent job as a condition for her accepting the interim role.
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Volnick, who attended Monday’s meeting but left before the presidential search discussion, said after the meeting, “I’m grateful for the confidence shown by Faculty Senate. My focus remains on the day-to-day operations of the university and the success of our students.”Board Chair Brad Levine declined to comment except to say, “I agree in the fact that Stacy is doing an excellent job as the interim president,”
This is a comment, but whatever. Notice that neither mentioned that accepting the interim role she has been in since 2022 means she isn’t allowed to apply for the position.
If hiring a new president was as simple as a vote from the board of trustees, that’s how this would have been done, to begin with, but it’s not. The faculty passing a motion doesn’t mean anything regarding this search. Volnick, by all accounts, seems to be holding it together, but she wasn’t a candidate, and she isn’t a candidate. The bottom line is that you cannot employ a university president in Florida without a search. Stacy Volnick was not part of that search. She also agreed to take the position of interim president with the understanding that she would not apply to be president. It was always supposed to be a temporary position. There are only two legal options for FAU. If the investigation comes up with nothing, they can keep going with the candidates they have. Option two, which seems to be the better option at this point, is to start over from scratch.
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