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Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse named sole finalist for University of Florida president

Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) at his office on Capitol Hill in March. File Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/8bc24a8b45038b429cf21f4173ce09b2/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson meets with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) at his office on Capitol Hill in March. File Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse has been named the sole finalist for the role of president of the University of Florida and is expected to soon resign from his Senate seat.

Sasse, a 50-year-old Republican, has served as the junior senator for Nebraska since 2015. He has often been at odds with members of his own party and voted to convict former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial.

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"The University of Florida is the most interesting university in America right now," Sasse said.

"It's the most important institution in the nation's most economically dynamic state -- and its board, faculty and graduates are uniquely positioned to lead this country through an era of disruption."

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The decision to tap Sasse as the finalist to lead the University of Florida was announced by the school's search committee in a news release.

"This is right for the University of Florida, right for the state of Florida and right for the Sasse family," said Rahul Patel, chair of the Presidential Search Committee.

"Ben brings intellectual curiosity, a belief in the power and potential of American universities, and an unmatched track record of leadership spanning higher education, government and the private sector."

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University administrators praised Sasse for his "distinguished academic career" and noted that the senator earned a PhD from Yale University after a bachelor of arts from Harvard.

Sasse previously led Midland University where he "is widely credited with transforming the institution," according to the search committee. He also previously taught at the University of Texas."

"He has worked tirelessly for decades to empower people to accomplish their goals, placing education at the forefront of his lifelong service to this great nation," Patel said.

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"This is the right moment for such a gifted public servant to lead the Gator nation into the future."

Sasse will next visit the campus on Monday to meet with students and faculty members, who will be able to provide feedback to school officials.

Trump, writing on his social media website Truth Social, criticized the University of Florida for its unanimous decision to name Sasse the lone finalist.

"Great news for the United States Senate, and our Country itself. Liddle' Ben Sasse, the lightweight Senator from the great State of Nebraska, will be resigning," Trump said.

"The University of Florida will soon regret their decision to hire him as their president. We have enough weak and ineffective RINOs in our midst. I look forward to working with the terrific Republican Party of Nebraska to get a REAL senator to represent the incredible people of that state."

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