Halted FAU Presidential Search Gives Controversial Florida Rep Another Shot 

FL Rep. Randy Fine, center. Courtesy Facebook.

In Florida Atlantic University’s search for a new president, it was who didn’t make the cut that generated the most headlines.

On July 5, FAU’s presidential search committee recommended three people – University of North Carolina Wilmington Chancellor Jose Sartarelli, Navy Vice Admiral Sean Buck, and Michael Hartline, dean of the Florida State University College of Business. 

Not on the list – FL Rep. Randy Fine, a longtime adversary of the LGBTQ community who was encouraged to apply for the post by Gov. Ron DeSantis, although it is unclear if he followed through with the hiring process.

Nevertheless, it all became a moot point last week when the search was suspended due to an objection by the chancellor of the state university system. Chancellor Ray Rodrigues took issue with a questionnaire asking candidates their sexual orientation and gender identity. 

“These inquiries are wholly irrelevant, inappropriate and potentially illegal,” Rodrigues wrote in a letter to Brad Levine, chairman of the FAU Board of Trustees. 

So Levine suspended the search, giving Fine another chance.

“These three finalists will not be finalists again,” said Jessica Abramsky, a sophomore journalism student. “My thinking is that if Randy Fine applied, he’ll be one of the finalists on the second go-around and he’ll win because the board of trustees are also appointed by DeSantis.”

Fine, a Republican who represents southern Brevard County, is a former gambling executive with a flair for the dramatics. In seeking to ban drag performances, Fine said if it meant “erasing a community” so be it. 

He has steadily carried the water for DeSantis’ war on “woke,” including sponsoring a bill to dissolve Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District

Similar to DeSantis, Fine has been known to punish those who cross him, like withholding funding for the Brevard Zoo and, allegedly, demanding refunds from his local synagogue for refusing to fire a gay teacher. 

“If all the cruelty and spite of the DeSantis regime were captured in a single human being, that person would be Representative Randy Fine,” tweeted Equality Florida press secretary Brandon Wolf.


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