Broward College plans to replace resigned President with acting leader in a week

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Gregory Haile started working at the college in 2011 as general counsel.

Ending weeks of intrigue, Broward College’s board of trustees accepted the resignation of President Gregory Haile and announced an immediate search for an acting leader. 

Any candidates for that acting role better get moving and be on-site or close to it. The Board wants to interview candidates next week and appoint someone on Oct. 3, according to communications the 55,000-student school put out at 7 p.m.

“At the recommendation of the Board, the College is requiring that candidates for the acting position apply over the next five days, and as a prerequisite, candidates must be either a current employee, a former employee or a former Board member of Broward College,” the release says.

It’s not the only South Florida institution of higher learning facing turmoil at the top. At Florida Atlantic University, trustees Tuesday discussed a stalled presidential search. Faculty at Tuesday’s meeting urged the FAU board to offer the job to Chief Operating Officer Stacy Volnick, now serving as FAU’s interim leader, according to reporting in the Palm Beach Post.

The upheaval is coming as Gov. Ron DeSantis has prioritized remaking higher education. The last Session saw new laws passed regarding the end of traditional tenure for faculty and stripping state-run universities and colleges of programs focused on diversity, equity and inclusion.

At Broward College’s meeting, Alexis Yarborough, Chair of the board of trustees, said that Haile would assist in transitioning to a new administration.

Haile submitted his resignation on Sept. 13 — giving his 120-day notice — and initially, it appeared that the board of trustees would try to keep him. An emergency meeting was called. But then Haile’s access to his building and his college email were cut off, according to reporting in the Sun Sentinel.

Two days later, a letter from his attorney said that Haile “had no desire to continue on as president of the College.”

Sun-Sentinel reporting on the transition found that Haile had been under pressure from three new members of the college’s trustees whom DeSantis had appointed.

Yarborough, a DeSantis appointee to the board in February, acknowledged the haste of Haile’s departure after five years leading the college, as she struck a conciliatory tone.

“I think we’re at a point where we need to respect Mr. Haile’s wishes,” she said, acknowledging his presence at Tuesday’s meeting. “I want to thank Mr. Haile for your dedication to Broward College. You have made a difference in the lives of many people.

“I think that we wish you had gone out on terms so that we could have a conversation and a celebration … we’re not there yet. But I would not miss the opportunity to thank you.”

For his part, Haile said that writing his resignation letter had been the most challenging thing he had ever done.

“When I came here, 30 days into my work as general counsel, I recognized that this will be the work I want to give my entire life to,” Haile said, recounting when he started at Broward College in 2011.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Rick Whitaker

    September 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

    messing with tenure, no wonder they don’t have good people waiting in the ranks to run the schools. desantis is mean spirited and short sighted, so i can understand his methodology.

  • My Take

    September 27, 2023 at 7:07 am

    Dirty ĎeSSlimeus’s bloody clawprints are all over this.

  • Todd Simmons

    September 27, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    Of course Yarborough “struck a conciliatory tone.” She got what she wanted, and now just wants the messiness to go away as quickly as possible. Team DeSantis can now put in place another wholly unqualified administration staffer or Republican state legislator as president, as they continue to degrade and miniaturize the Florida State College System and State University System. Both are now dotted with DeSantis people at senior levels, and the state’s brand as a place that values higher education continues to plummet nationwide.

  • My Take

    September 29, 2023 at 11:56 am

    You have to wonder how specifically they drove this gentleman out.
    Same with FAU’s last president.

  • My Take

    October 1, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    This is for an interim.
    What stooge or ally will DeSScamus push for the permanent position?

Comments are closed.


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