The Florida Legislature approved a bill that would close presidential searches in state colleges and universities, effectively maintaining the identities of hidden applicants from the public until the institution decides to three finalists. Under the existing open records laws of Florida, the names of the applicants are available to the public throughout the search process.

The House of State Representatives approved the bill 86 to 26, and the State Senate approved the measure last month. Now he expects the approval of Governor Ron Desantis.

The defenders of the bill, including state senators, Jeff Brandes and Darryl Rouson, say that the legislation would help state institutions attract a group of more qualified and diverse candidates, the Democratic Tallahassee reported . At least five of the 12 public universities will seek a new president in the coming years, and the University of Florida plans to start a search of his next president this month.

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    Henry Sover, president of the Association of Government Tables, supports the bill.

    "I need to attract the best talent," Stoever said. "Have a requirement to disclose who is in that candidate group will significantly reduce the quality of the group of talents that are considering." "

    Presidents and session providers are unlikely to apply to an open search, said Rod McDavis, Management of the Director in the search for AGB, an executive firm of Higher Education. < / p> googleg.cmd.push (function () googleg.display ("dfp-ad-article_in_article"););

    "feel quite safe in your current positions, and that security could be threatened if your name is It makes public, "said McDavis." A president who has had his recently renovated or extended contract could be in danger of losing that work if they request another position and the board discovers that they are a candidate for another presidency. "

    As a result, more and more states and institutions are opting for closed searches. Wisconsin and Tennessee closed presidential searches in public institutions in 2015 and 2018, respectively. Meanwhile, the average duration of presidential tenuses is declined. In 2017, the Presidents They spent an average of 6.5 years in their work, as of 8.5 years in 2006, according to a survey conducted by the American Education Council, and therefore the institutions seek presidents more frequently. These processes often take a year to complete and require intense background checks, projection exams and Multiple rounds of interviews.

    "There is a desire from more colleges and universities to get a higher quality of people in the pool, and they feel they can get a higher quality of candidates if they have a closed search," said McDavis . "There is a movement in that direction at the national level."

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    Nebraska lawmakers first introduced a bill in 2014 that would have Maintained the confidentiality of the names of the applicants, except for a last finalist. At that time, all the names of the candidates remained secret, except the four finalists. The initial invoice finally failed, but similar legislation approved in 2016.

    The 2016 bill contained a key difference, said Melissa Lee, Director of Communications of the System of the University of Nebraska, the institution is necessary To name a "priority candidate" that is subject to a 30-day public vetting period.

    "that the Vetting period has to involve campus visits, open public sessions, open sessions

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