Protest Senator John Thrasher as FSU’s President on Monday 9/15 at 2:30 pm
FSU Progress Coalition encourages you to come, speak up, hold signs, help collect petition signatures and FIGHT the corrupt advancement of Koch funded Senator John Thrasher as Florida State University’s next President during the “Open Forum” question and answer “interviews” taking place on MONDAY SEPTEMBER 15th – NEXT WEEK.
The Student Forum is from 3:00 – 4:15.
We will meet and Rally out front of Turnbull at 2:30.
WHY ARE WE PROTESTING?
The situation at FSU is an emergency! FSU’s President has the ability to authorize or reject private donor contracts like the 2008 corrupt Koch contract with FSU’s Department of Economics that is detailed in today’s article “The Koch College’s Takeover Scheme” covered by Bill Moyers, Washington Post, Yahoo News, Guardian, Center for Public Integrity and other major media outlets.
In 2013, President Eric Barron and Interim President Garnett Stokes signed a second, arguably more, corrupt contract with the Charles Koch Foundation. This is a concern for us because five members of the current Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) have ties with Koch and American Legislative Exchange Council (Koch funded). The “Koch 5” actually outnumber the faculty or students on the committee. Board of Trustee’s Chair Allan Bense, who appoints the PSAC members to their position, is also the Chair of Board of Directors for the Koch-funded James Madison Institute.
On May 21st, FSU’s PSAC passed a motion to fast-track Sen. Thrasher as the sole candidate for consideration without so much as an application. Thrasher has no real academic credentials, is anti-tenure, a two times ethics violator while serving in the Florida House of Representatives, is currently serving as Florida Gov. RIck Scott’s reelection campaign chair and was named ALEC Legislator of the Year in 1998.
This “Thrasher motion” came a short seven days after the passage of Florida HB 115, a piece of legislation supported by Sen. Thrasher that essentially closed all public access to contract negotiations between private donors and Florida public university foundations. Senator Thrasher’s support of HB 115 remained despite hearing student and faculty concerns specifically about Koch contracts and the threat against academic freedom. The House Bill was sponsored by ALEC State Chair Kelli Stargel and Americans for Prosperity affiliated Senator Cary Pigman. These coordinated interests appear to be pursuing influence at the highest administrative levels at FSU.
We encourage you to stand behind these basic DEMANDS
1) Call for a clear and transparent process.
2) Call for a continued restructure of FSU’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC). Demand the Board of Trustee’s recognize that this is an illegitimate process because it is comprised of 64% corporate/political interests and 26% combined student/faculty interests. Currently, the student/faculty vote is not quantifiably high enough (50% or more) to pass a motion.
3) Call for the singular support of candidates with full academic credentials that meet the basic requirements of the PSAC’s own stated job qualifications.
4) Demand a candidate that is willing to stand behind academic freedom as defined by the AAUP 1940 Statement of Academic Freedom and Tenure and shared governance as defined by the AAUP 1966 Statement of Shared Governance.
5) As a consequence of all the above “calls” our FINAL DEMAND is for the Board of Trustees and Presidential Search Advisory Committee NOT to FORWARD THRASHER for FSU’s next President.
FACULTY SENATE RESOLUTION
We find it important to inform you that FSU’s Faculty Senate met in a “special session” on Wednesday night and passed the following Resolution.
Motion to the Faculty Senate, September 10, 2014
Be it resolved that we, the members of the Florida State University Faculty Senate, call upon the Presidential Search Advisory Committee not to recommend Senator Thrasher as a candidate for President of FSU. We further call upon the Board of Trustees not to hire Senator Thrasher as the next President of FSU. Senator Thrasher lacks the stated qualifications required for the position, whereas the other three finalists meet those qualifications. We encourage all faculty members to participate fully in the interview process and to submit comments.
CONGRESS OF GRADUATE STUDENTS RESOLUTION
On Monday September 15th FSU’s Congress of Graduate Students (COGS) will meet at 6:30 in Senate Chambers to convene on an agenda that includes very similar language. We invite you to attend COGS meeting and speak at public comment which usually occurs at the beginning of the meeting.
Again, we encourage you to attend, speak up and ask questions at any and all of the forums. Here is a link to the PSAC schedule.