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.
The August 26, 2014 meeting of the FSU Board of Trustees (BOT) was quietly cancelled.
We believe it was to avoid the insistent faculty, student, and community calls to restructure the Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) and assure a President with academic credentials that has no political or corporate ties. The BOT’s evasion of these calls was a consistent feature of the BOT and PSAC meetings this summer. Calls for board members to resign have been made and were met with hostility.
Since we couldn’t share our voices at the August BOT meeting, it is now more important than ever to support the multi-organization student call for a restructuring of the PSAC (see the Student Plan). The Presidential selection process begins on September 5th. It is time to act!
The Student Plan lays out the restructure as creating ⅓ Faculty and ⅓ Student representation while also accounting for the size of the already bloated search committee. Using simple mathematics, we make a clear recommendation on the number of additional faculty and student seats regardless of how large Chair Allan Bense would like the committee to be. We also make an overall suggestion for the removal of 15 current PSAC members and the addition of two student seats and one faculty seat. This creates a 15 person committee. It couldn’t be easier.
Inspired by Resolution 12 from the FSU Congress of Graduate Students, we propose an open and democratic process by which to select the additional students and faculty on the PSAC.
HERE IS WHERE YOU COME IN!!!
If you are an FSU Faculty or Student, we are taking applications for additional students and faculty to sit on a restructured PSAC! Please apply by no later than September 4th.
How will the applications be reviewed?
HERE IS WHERE YOU COME IN AGAIN!!!
ALL applications will be open to review by ANY interested FSU student and faculty member. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org through a valid FSU email address and ask to be a member of the PSAC Restructuring Group. You will be contacted with a username and password for a Reddit.com user account which you can use to – up/down/no vote all recieved applications in a closed “subreddit” (it is easy, we promise – even if you don’t use Reddit already).
The list of applicants will be ordered by the voting members of the Group. Regardless of the total size Chair Bense prefers the PSAC to be – we will have precisely the right number of students and faculty to fill the seats!
Play an active role in the future of our great University. Sign the petition, and get involved! This is the kind of student engagement and innovation that FSU prides itself on. Keep the tradition alive – save Florida State University!