With just a few months left in his tenure at Florida State University, President John Thrasher on Friday announced a number of staff changes at the highest ranks of the 169-year-old school.
The changes came in a report to the university’s Board of Trustees Friday and were also shared in a press release.
The moves come as Thrasher, president since November 2014, himself heads toward retirement. He and FSU Board of Trustees chairman Ed Burr agreed in September to start the search, which could take up to six months, considering the pandemic. Thrasher has said he will remain at the helm until a new president is chosen.
Staff changes announced Friday include:
► Former state lawmaker and FSU alumnus Clay Ingram will become chief legislative affairs officer, or the top in-house lobbyist, in the Office of Governmental Relations effective Dec. 7.
Ingram, a Pensacola native, served in the Florida House 2010-18, and later was made CEO of Volunteer Florida by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Before that, he was president and CEO of the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce.
Ingram, a member of FSU’s 1999 National Championship football team, graduated from FSU in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in communication.
“As a proud graduate of Florida State University, I couldn’t be more excited to be offered this unique opportunity to return to the university and work on behalf of the school that has played such an important role in my life,” he told the Democrat in a text message.
► Browning Brooks, Assistant Vice President for University Communications, will retire at the end of the year after nearly three decades of service to the university, according to the release.
She has served in her current role since 2014, managing the university’s news, digital, social media and creative services teams. Dennis Schnittker, the university’s communications director, has been appointed to serve as interim assistant vice president for University Communications.
► Laurel Fulkerson will serve as interim vice president for research. She follows Gary K. Ostrander, who has held the position since 2011. He announced earlier this year his intention to step down.
Fulkerson has served as associate vice president for research since 2018 and has worked at the university since 2000, according to a press release.
► Thrasher’s chief of staff, Elizabeth “Liz” Hirst, will become associate vice president for University Relations. In the added role, she will oversee the Office of University Communications, Opening Nights, University Relations’ events, Community Relations and work in coordination with the Office of Governmental Relations.
She succeeds Kathleen Daly, retiring Nov. 30 after 25 years at FSU. The university said Daly has led the University Relations division since 2014 and previously served as the university’s chief lobbyist for many years.
Casey Chapter is the news editor of the FSView & Florida Flambeau. Reach her at CChapter@Tallahassee.com or follow her on Twitter @CaseyChapter.