FSU President John Thrasher to retire; search begins for successor

Florida State’s Board of Trustees to begin national presidential search

FSU President John Thrasher (Florida State University photo)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State University President John Thrasher announced Friday that he did not plan to continue in the job beyond this school year and, because of the potential impact of COVID-19 on a national presidential search, he and Board of Trustees Chairman Ed Burr said the time is right to begin planning for FSU’s future.

Burr said while the board will begin the search process earlier than anticipated and he has no plans to name an interim president. While his contract this year, Thrasher will remain in office until a new president can take the helm.

“These are unusual times,” Burr said. “It is incumbent on this board to ensure a smooth transition.”

Thrasher, an FSU alumnus who has served as president since November 2014, said the time is right to begin planning for his transition as he looks toward a future where he can focus on his family and pursue other interests.

“These past six years have been the most energizing and rewarding of my professional life,” he said. “Knowing what my Florida State degrees have done for me, I have long believed in the transformative power of higher education. So, it has been an honor and a privilege for Jean and me to contribute to this institution that has changed so many lives.”

Thrasher said he is proud of everything that administrators, faculty, staff and students have accomplished by working together, including creating a strategic plan, raising $1 billion for the university’s capital campaign, expanding the research enterprise, enrolling and graduating the brightest students in the university’s history, and being recognized as one of the Top 20 public universities in the nation.

Thrasher also posed a heartfelt message to “the FSU Family,” recounting his long history with the university and career.

A special board meeting will be scheduled in the coming weeks to discuss the establishment of a presidential search committee as well as the search process, Burr said.

In the meantime, Thrasher said he is committed to continuing to work on the goals and objectives outlined in the university’s strategic plan.

“We still have work to do,” he said. “I assure you that I will continue to work tirelessly with our leadership team to continue FSU’s positive momentum.”