TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Florida State University has been without a president since April. The search for a new school leader is expected to heat up again after Tuesday.

The school's search committee plans to begin interviews next week. The schedule calls for Florida State's Board of Trustees to interview at least three finalists for the job by the end of the month.

The FSU presidential search can be described as anything but smooth. The search has been under scrutiny since day one.

The original search firm hired by FSU was on the fast track to selecting Republican state Sen. John Thrasher as the next front man, a move that ruffled the feathers of many faculty and staff.

After a reset, faculty union president Jennifer Proffitt hopes the school gets it right this time around.

"I hope that we do have that open and transparent process," said Proffitt. "I hope that the committee will seriously consider the criteria that they set forth as they're looking at the applicants."

Many are hoping that the current interim president applies for the job.

Already, 27 people have applied to be the next president, but not current interim Garnett Stokes. The new search firm said they'll release all the last-minute applicants Wednesday.

Some faculty have been talking about Stokes as a potential candidate, so I think she'll have support," said Proffitt.

Graduate Student Union President Kerr Ballenger isn't convinced anything has changed. His group has been calling for more school representation on a 27-member committee that seats only four faculty members and three students.

"We're still pushing for a restructure of the search committee: one-third students, one-third faculty, one-third outside stakeholders," said Ballenger.

The committee will meet Friday to start vetting candidates.