U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) will become the next president at the University of Florida, the senator and the university announced in separate statements Thursday afternoon.
The news came just minutes after a NewsRadio 1110 KFAB’s Ian Swanson, a former staffer for Sasse, broke the news that Sasse was going to retire from the U.S. Senate.
“The University of Florida is uniquely positioned to lead this country through an era of disruption,” Sasse said in a statement. “The single biggest challenge our nation faces is the radical disruption of work. Technology is changing everything about where, when, why, what, and how Americans work and so it’s changing our homes, neighborhoods, and communities too.”
Sasse said that he has been courted by top universities over the last couple of years, but that he and his wife had resisted attempts to lure him out of the Senate.
Sasse said this time was different though because he views the University of Florida as “the most interesting university in America right now.”
“Melissa and I have been pursued by wonderful institutions the past two years, but we’ve resisted being named a finalist,” Sasse said. “This time is different because the University of Florida is very different: I think Florida is the most interesting university in America right now.”
The University of Florida said in a statement that they spent months carefully vetting hundreds of applicants for the role and that the school’s 15-member presidential search committee “unanimously recommended United States Senator Dr. Ben Sasse as the sole finalist to become the University of Florida’s 13th president.”
“Dr. Sasse currently serves as a U.S. Senator from Nebraska and is a former college president, highly accomplished scholar and nationally recognized authority on higher education,” the school said.