T.K. Wetherell, former Tallahassee Community College president, began his term at Florida State University’s top post Monday.
Wetherell, 57, was selected to become FSU’s 13th president by the university’s board of trustees Dec. 18. He was ratified by the Florida Board of Education earlier this month. Wetherell, an FSU alumnus, was a finalist in Florida State’s 1993 presidential search in which Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte was selected.
D’Alemberte announced his resignation in August 2002 and will continue at the university as a tenured professor.
Wetherell, the only local candidate, was chosen over Edward Jennings, former interim president and professor emeritus at Ohio State University, and Susan Prager, former law dean at University of California – Los Angeles and provost at Dartmouth College.
“A lot of members liked him because he was an alumnus and his ability to secure money for FSU,” said Jeffrey Seay, university spokesperson. “Members said he seemed more passionate about FSU and that helped him edge out other candidates.”
After serving six years as TCC president, Wetherell stepped down in 2001 to become a lobbyist. Between 1980 and 1992, he was a representative in the state house. He was the house speaker for the last two years.
He is also a former professor and administrator at Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach Community College and Florida Technological University (now the University of Central Florida).
According to The Tallahassee Democrat, Wetherell and John Thrasher, chairman of the FSU board of trustees, negotiated an annual salary of $288, 850. In a statement posted on FSU’s Web site, www.fsu.edu, Wetherell said he plans to continue securing money for his alma mater.
“FSU is an institution on the cusp of even greater achievements,” he said. “The future is bright if we make sure the legislature continues to provide the support it traditionally affords major research universities.”