Ben Sasse: University of Florida Faculty Senate symbolically votes against possible selection of Senator Ben Sasse as president
The University of Florida Faculty Senate on Thursday approved a no-confidence resolution on the selection process to nominate U.S. Senator Ben Sasse as the next president, officials said.
The 67-15 vote comes after Sasse, a Republican senator from Nebraska, became the only person considered for the top job at one of Florida’s top universities. His candidacy sparked controversy on campus in part because of his 2015 comments on LGBTQ+ rights after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling guarantee same-sex marriage at the federal level.
Asked about the comments during an on-campus forum earlier this month, Sasse said the decision was « the law of the land, » adding that it was not going to change in the near future, reported The Independent Florida Alligator.
Asked about promoting diversity at the university, Sasse said, « I want us to find out by listening to our community and our conversation, who doesn’t feel included and how can we address those issues and reduce those barriers » , according to the Alligator.
Following the landmark High Court ruling on same-sex marriage, Sasse took the position that only a man and a woman should marry and start a family.
“The Supreme Court has once again overstepped its constitutional role by acting like a super-legislature and imposing its own definition of marriage on the American people rather than allowing voters to decide in the states,” Sasse said in a statement. of June 2015 which remains on its official government website.
Thursday’s emergency meeting included an in-depth discussion of the president’s selection process, including requests for more clarity on the process. Ultimately, the faculty senate voted to approve the resolution of no confidence.
The vote is symbolic and will not affect the final UF board vote scheduled for Nov. 1. The university said it would enforce its rule of not allowing protests inside campus buildings.
CNN has reached out to Sasse’s office for comment.
Members of the faculty senate also heard from three faculty members who served on the board selection committee that unanimously supported Sasse’s nomination.
Dr. Lisa Lundy, a professor in the School of Agricultural Education and Communication, sat on the search committee and explained how Sasse became the only candidate when other candidates decided they didn’t want to be named publicly. unless you are the only finalist.
« I think the situation was that all of the applicants were in positions that they thought could be compromised if people found out they were in the running for another job, » Lundy said.
At least one participant asked if the LGBTQ+ community came up in interviews with Sasse.
Dr. David Bloom, another member of the selection committee, said that was the first question he asked Sasse.
According to Bloom, Sasse said he « supports his constituency in Nebraska, but he would support the constituency of UF faculty, staff, students if he becomes president. » Bloom added that he believed the answers were genuine.
After the discussion, many expressed a desire for greater transparency in the selection process, acknowledging that a new state law creates a challenge in disclosing candidate identities throughout the selection process. .
Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate in 2014, Sasse served as president of Midland University, a Lutheran liberal arts school in Nebraska with an enrollment of about 1,600.
Earlier this month, a source told CNN that Sasse would step down by the end of the year to take on the role at the University of Florida.