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Former lieutenant governor Frank Brogan for chancellor?

Add Frank Brogan, Florida Atlantic University President and former lieutenant governor, to the list of people reportedly interested in leading Florida’s public university system.

Brogan, who in 1981 earned his master’s degree from FAU, has not yet submitted an application for the chancellor’s job. Nor did he return phone calls requesting comment. But speculation about his interest has been growing in recent weeks, and several sources close to the search say he plans to apply for the job by next week’s deadline.

The Board of Governors committee leading the national search for a new chancellor plans to hold a conference call on Monday, July 13, to review all applications and decide which of them to interview in person on July 17. That means applications have to be submitted to the search firm by the end of next week, Friday, July 10.

Carolyn Roberts, the Board of Governors member leading the search committee, would only say this: “I’ve talked to a number of people who I hope are interested. We are hopeful they will stay in the search process.”

Brogan has been president of FAU since 2003, when he became the Boca Raton university’s 5th president. He lives in the FAU President’s House with his wife Courtney, an attorney, and their son Colby John Brogan, who was born in 2005. The university of 27,000 students has seen much growth and improvement under Brogan.

So why would he move now? Well, the tenure of university presidents typically last 5 to 7 years. His wife Courtney has family in the Panhandle area, and if Brogan has higher future political plans (he’s often cited as an ideal Republican gubernatorial candidate), the chancellor’s post based in Tallahassee might be a better perch than the FAU presidency.

If Brogan does indeed pursue the job, he will likely emerge quickly as the frontrunner. He knows the Capitol well thanks to his days under Jeb, giving him the political connections to bridge the Legislature and the university system – two entities that have not exactly gotten along swimmingly in recent years.

Moreover, as former education commissioner and now FAU president, Brogan also has plenty of background and firsthand experience dealing with education issues in Florida.