Marshall Criser III wants to become the next state university system leader, and the path just got a little easier.
Former Florida International University President Modesto "Mitch" Maidique declined an opportunity to apply for the chancellor job. He said he was humbled to be nominated for the post by former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart but wants to focus on his efforts leading FIU's Center for Leadership.
That leaves Criser, president of AT&T Florida, as the front runner for the post and the most recognizeable name among 18 applicants. Perhaps the second most notable applicant is James "Jim" Purcell, the Louisiana commissioner of higher education.
Here is full text of Maidique's letter declining the nomination for chancellor as written to Board of Governors chief of staff Randy Goin:
It is a great privilege to have been nominated by Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart to become Chancellor of the State University System of Florida. After having given the nomination a great deal of thought, I have decided to pass on being a candidate.
While I, of course, would be honored to serve as Chancellor of the State University System of Florida, I believe my energies are best spent focused on continuing to build the Center for Leadership at Florida International University and to help it realize its full potential.
I thank you for your consideration.
Modesto A. Maidique, Ph.D.