University of Florida Board of Trustees selects Sen. Ben Sasse as president
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The University of Florida Board of Trustees voted to approve Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse as president on Tuesday.
The board voted unanimously to select Sasse. The vote will now go to the University Board of Governors, who will have a final say on the matter on Nov. 10.
The University of Florida Board of Trustees voted unanimously today to select U.S. Sen. Dr. Ben Sasse as UF’s president-elect. pic.twitter.com/7XRIl28u1X
— FLORIDA (@UF) November 1, 2022
Before the vote, the board asked Sasse several questions about why he chose to pursue the University of Florida.
When asked if he had been connected or guided by anyone with political ties during the selection process, Sasse responded he hadn’t spoken to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis since 2016.
He also claims that he was not shepherded by anyone other than members of the university.
Sasse added that he doesn’t plan to be involved in politics if selected as president.
“I would have no activity in partisan politics in any way, as I arrived at the University of Florida,” he said. “I wouldn’t speak at political events; I wouldn’t make political contributions. I look forward to a period of political celibacy.”
One point of concern for many students was Sasse’s stance on same-sex marriage and other LGBTQ matters.
Sasse was asked by the board how he would protect students and staff involved in those matters.
“I just think we have to begin at the foundational point of the universal dignity of every human,” he said.
Just last week, the University of Florida faculty senate approved a vote of no confidence in the presidential search process.
He was named as the sole finalist as the university’s next president on Oct. 6.
When the university hosted panels with Sasse on Oct. 10, students filled Emerson Hall to protest the meetings.
Before being elected to the Senate in 2014, Sasse was president of Midland University in Fremont.
The Republican began his political career as a darling of the Tea Party, basing his 2014 campaign on his opposition to the Affordable Care Act.
He garnered national attention in 2016, when he repeatedly criticized then-candidate Donald Trump.