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University of Florida President Kent Fuchs (left) visits campus in 2014 when he was one of three finalists being considered for the position. A Florida House bill would keep confidential the name of anyone applying to become head of a college or university in the state. (File/WUFT News)

Florida May Keep Names Of University President Applicants Secret

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TALLAHASSEE — Florida legislators are considering whether to keep secret searches for university and college presidents.

A House panel approved a bill today that would keep confidential the name of anyone applying to become head of a college or university.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Bob Rommel, a Naples Republican, would also keep confidential the names of people applying for other top positions, such as dean or provost.

The legislation (House Bill 351) heads next to the full House. A similar bill has not moved in the Senate.

If the measure becomes law, the names of finalists for top jobs would be made public 21 days before there is a final vote to hire someone.

Rommel and other supporters contend the change is needed because Florida isn’t attracting quality candidates for university jobs.

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