Nebraska mother-in-law plans to resign from Senate for university post
WASHINGTON — Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, planning to leave the Senate by the end of the year to become president of the University of Florida, announced Thursday that he is the sole finalist for the state’s premier university, the presidential search committee. Post.
Mr. Sasse, who after January 6, 2021 on charges of impeachment led President Donald J. Voted along with six other Republican senators to convict Trump, revolt at the Capitol, and harshly criticize his own party for backing Mr Trump, were re-elected to his second term in 2020 and 2026. Wasn’t ready to be on the ballot again.
But his academic background was apparently a draw for a group seeking the replacement of Kent Fuchs, the current University of Florida president, returning to teaching as a campus beset by controversies over academic freedom.
“This is true for the University of Florida, for the state of Florida and for the Sasse family,” said Presidential Search Committee chairman Rahul Patel. “Ben brings together intellectual curiosity, a belief in the power and potential of American universities, and an unmatched track record of leadership spanning higher education, government, and the private sector.”
Mr Sasse’s recommendation was the start of an extended formal process that could not be finished until November or December, but the senator made it clear that he would take the job if offered.
In a statement provided by the university and posted on Twitter, he said he was previously followed by other institutions, but was asked not to nominate him in the finals.
“This time is different because the University of Florida is very different,” he said in the statement. “I think Florida is the most interesting university in America right now.”
Should Mr Sasse leave as expected, it would mark the latest exit from Congress by a member of the small and dwindling group of Republicans who have publicly severed ties with Trump. Many of them have since announced their resignations or lost in party primaries in which they were targeted as betrayers.
In Mr. Sasse’s case, it is unlikely to affect the balance of power in Congress, given Nebraska’s staunchly Republican leanings. His seat will be filled through an appointment by Governor Pete Ricketts, a Republican, before a special election at a future date in which a GOP candidate is certain to prevail.
Mr. Sasse, who easily won an open seat in 2014, has a doctorate from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College. He was previously president of the University of Midland, a small private Lutheran school in Nebraska.
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In the Senate, Mr. Sasse has made it clear that he does not see government as the solution to every problem and that he was not committed to a life in politics. More than some of his colleagues, he has vented his frustration about the partisan war that has come to dominate and paralyze the Senate; During confirmation hearings for Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson last spring, he lamented “Jacksary we’re here to see” of “frauding people” for the cameras.
It appears that these considerations were at least one reason for his interest in moving forward. In his statement on Thursday, Mr Sasse said workforce disruption is the biggest problem facing the nation today, and suggested that political leaders were not apt to address it.
“Washington partisanship is not going to solve these workforce challenges – new institutions and entrepreneurial communities will have to lead the way,” he said.
Mr Sass’s scathing criticism of Mr Trump, whom he rebuked in a lengthy rant to his constituents weeks before the 2020 elections, and his vote for inciting Mr Trump to rebel, have rightly angered him. But while he has been involved in some bipartisan efforts in the Senate, the senator has maintained a solid conservative voting record.
Mr. Sasse is scheduled to visit campus in Gainesville on Monday and take questions from students and faculty. The university’s board of trustees will review the feedback and interview Mr. Sasse on 1 November before making a final recommendation on filling the position. Unless there is some unforeseen snag, Mr Sasse is expected to resign from his Senate seat before the end of the year.
The state-run university has been mired in controversy over whether faculty members can act as expert witnesses in cases against the state on voting rights issues and other subjects, raising questions of academic interference at the highest levels of state government. Huh. Mr. Sasse’s views on this issue will be closely monitored as he navigates the rest of the interview process.
Members of the search committee said more than 700 people were initially considered as prospects for the high-profile academic position, but the list was narrowed down to about a dozen before Mr. was.