Florida State's presidential-search advisory committee could recommend finalists for the job as soon as mid-September under a proposed timeline that will be discussed during Friday's meeting of the panel.

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Florida State's presidential-search advisory committee could recommend finalists for the job as soon as mid-September under a proposed timeline that will be discussed during Friday's meeting of the panel.

Under the timeline, candidates would have until Sept. 2 to apply for the job. The search committee could pick finalists during a Sept. 5 meeting and interview them Sept. 8 and 9. Finalists would come to campus Sept. 15-17 to meet with faculty, staff and students and take part in interviews. The search committee would meet again Sept. 22 to possibly recommend a finalist or finalists to the Board of Trustees.

The timeline, which grew out of talks with FSU's new search consultant, Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, could change during today's meeting of the search committee. University officials say it is a jumping-off point for debate only.

During the search committee's meeting earlier this month, some faculty members and students asked that interviews not be conducted until after the start of the fall semester so the entire university community could participate and give input.

"I think it's a time line that responds to some of the feedback we've received the last few weeks," said Ed Burr, chairman of the search committee. "And the search consultant believes it's a timeline that will help produce qualified candidates to be the next president of Florida State University."

FSU has faced criticism over how the search has been conducted thus far. After Eric Barron left the presidency to head up Penn State on Feb. 17, state Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, emerged as a front-runner, though at the time he hadn't even applied for the job.

The search committee planned to interview only Thrasher during its June 11 meeting but canceled after Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricky Polston applied for the job. FSU's search consultant at the time, William Funk, said the committee needed to move or pass on Thrasher because his candidacy was preventing other candidates from applying. Earlier this month, after a no-confidence vote from the Faculty Senate, Funk resigned.

During the search committee's most recent meeting, on June 11, a number of faculty members and students complained about the search process and the fact that Thrasher appeared at least to have an inside track on the post.

The search committee will meet 11 a.m. to noon at the Turnbull Center, 555 W. Pensacola St. To see a webcast of the meeting, visit http://learningforlife.capd.fsu.edu/presidentsearch.

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