Board of Trustees Postpones Presidential Selection Vote


Jessica Piland

Board of Trustees Chair Blake Gable meets with the media following the postponement of the vote.

Hayley Lemery, Assignment & Features Editor

The FGCU Board of Trustees has postponed announcing FGCU’s fifth president after deliberation today.

The three finalists, Dr. Tod Laursen, Dr. Robert Gregerson and Dr. Susana Rivera-Mills, each attended three public forums at FGCU with the expectation to know the final decision of the presidency today.

“It was a mistake that falls solely on me,” Board of Trustees Chair Blake Gable said. “It was something that we thought we could get done, to begin at the last second. It was just apparent that it wasn’t enough time, and that falls on me as the chair.”

The agenda of their Nov. 2 meeting stated each presidential finalist would be interviewed in alphabetical order for an hour until 12:30 p.m. They planned to reconvene at 1 p.m. to review feedback from the forums and background checks and to choose what would be FGCU’s fifth president.

He said their schedule was delayed by Hurricane Ian. The presidential finalists were supposed to make their campus visits early Oct., which would’ve given the Board of Trustees time to deliberate and make their final decision for the predetermined date that was set last spring.

“Normally they have two to three weeks in advance just to provide their oversight that the Board of Governors is statutorily required to do,” Gable said. “So, we thought that it would make some sense to try to do this to meet these timelines that we had set out many, many months ago. But upon further reflection with the other university presidents that are coming before the Board for confirmation next week, it was just decided that, you know, we’re really asking an awful lot.”

Gable was referring to Florida International University as they’re conducting their own presidential search.

An emergency meeting with the Board of Trustees will be announced soon as arrangements are made, according to Coordinator of University Communications and Media Relations Pamela McCabe said. In an email sent today from McCabe sent on behalf of Gable, the process has been delayed for about two weeks. 

“At the end of the day, we can get this done in [a] timeframe that still meets President Martin’s retirement,” Gable said.

In the meantime, McCabe encourages campus stakeholders to review the public forums on FGCU’s presidential search website to provide feedback ahead of the Board of Trustees’ decision. 

FGCU Presidential Search Finalist: Gregerson

FGCU Presidential Search Finalist: Laursen

FGCU Presidential Search Finalist: Rivera-Mills