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Louisiana education leader loses bid for Florida job

Last Modified: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 2:08 PM

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Louisiana Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell has been passed over for a job leading Florida's state university system.

Purcell had been one of four candidates chosen to interview for the chancellor's position.

But the search committee Tuesday selected Marshall Criser III, president of AT&T Florida, as the lone finalist to recommend to the university system Board of Governors, which will consider the recommendation next week.

The search committee unanimously backed Criser for the chancellor's job.

Purcell's time in Louisiana has been rocky. He has often been at odds with Gov. Bobby Jindal over the depth of higher education budget cuts. Earlier this year, several Republican state lawmakers said Jindal was trying to pressure the Board of Regents to fire Purcell.

Purcell's $275,000-a-year contract in Louisiana runs through 2014.

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