Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Palm Beach Post Rips Into Jim King

Not everyone is keen on the idea of Jim King becoming University Chancellor.  Count the editorial board of the Palm Beach Post among King’s detractors:

In 2004, Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville, tried to give the state university system something it didn’t need: a chiropractic college. In 2009, Sen. King wants to give the system something it needs even less: himself.

This week, Sen. King declared his interest in becoming the next chancellor of the 11-university system. He thus becomes the latest legislator who has done little for the universities through his office but is ready to make money off the universities by exploiting that office.

Sen. King has been in the Legislature since 1987. As a former House majority leader and Senate president, he’s been one of Tallahassee’s most powerful legislators. If he had wanted to make the university system great, it would be. It isn’t. It’s good, but far from one of the country’s best.

The post goes on to accuse King of holding higher education hostage until they make him Chancellor:

But does Sen. King want the job because he has a plan to make the system great? No. He has a plan to make himself some money. After selling his temp agency, he thought he was set financially. The market crash, though, has cost him. And the previous chancellor made about $430,000. The Board of Governors is conducting a search, but Sen. King suggests that he could be hired before the session ends, to help steer the system’s budget. The House is talking about a 10 percent cut for the universities, even as they may be able to raise tuition 15 percent a year.

Sen. King is more affable than many of his colleagues, but there’s nothing funny in his veiled threat: Hire me, or else. Sen. King sits on the higher education appropriations committee. The committee chairwoman is Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Ormond Beach. After the public outcry, Sen. Lynn gave up the $120,000 salary she received from Florida State University to run a program she created and got money for. The St. Petersburg Times has identified 17 current or former legislators working full-time or part-time at state universities.


Filed under: Florida, Florida Legislature, Florida Politics, Jacksonville, ,

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