Do Florida's public universities have a reluctance to put women on top? On one side, you could point out that only two of the 11 schools in the system have a female president. On the other hand, you could brandish the fact that both the chair and vice chair of the state university system's board of governors are female. But what's most telling, and certainly alarming, are the number of women who are or were recently being considered for high-profile jobs within the system.
Florida International University recently named Mark Rosenberg as its new president. He was chosen from a list of more than 20 candidates that was eventually whittled down to 13 and then four... three... two... one.
Of the 13 who were seriously considered, only two were women: Ana Viamonte Ros, Florida's secretary of health, and Ellen Ann Wartella, former executive vice chancellor at the University of California. Neither made it past that round.
Rosenberg recently stepped down as chancellor of the state university system, and the search is on to find his replacement. The initial list includes not one woman. And t's not even as if most of the men on the list are prized candidates.
Thankfully, the hunt for candidates continues and let's hope some ladies will be included. I don't think this is a case of blatant sexism, but the fact no females are in contention is disturbing.
On the university presidential level at least, I think there's a reluctance to put a woman in charge. Perhaps the reason has something to do with sports. Some Florida schools have a strong sports program, and others desperately, almost embarrassingly, want one (like FIU). It doesn't always work, though. The University of South Florida's football team has suffered much under Judy Genshaft.
So, Florida, the ball's in your court. At least try to keep up the appearance you're not totally snubbing women. Who knows, you might actually find your dream candidate.