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Genshaft doesn’t vote and tell

USF President Judy Genshaft has not said which candidate she supports in Florida’s presidential primary today, nor whether she supports Amendment 1.

Ditto university presidents John Hitt of the University of Central Florida, and T.K. Wetherell of Florida State University.

“Ms. Genshaft is not endorsing anyone for Tuesday’s primary,” said USF Spokesman Ken Gullette said of Genshaft’s position, which seems to be in keeping with administrators’ policies from most universities in Florida.

When asked about Amendment 1, which concerns property tax exemptions and limitations on property tax assessment for homes and businesses, spokesmen from all State University System schools interviewed said the universities’ presidents chose to keep their personal opinions separate from their presidential positions.

One notable exception is the University of Florida’s president Bernard Machen, who publicly endorsed Republican John McCain this past week. UF’s President Machen told the Alligator: “I’ve always been an Independent, and I choose my candidates by person, not by party,” he said. “Of all the people running for president in both parties, I’ve concluded that Senator McCain is the best-qualified person to lead our country.”

Contrary to tradition and the policies of fellow state university presidents, Machen publicly approved McCain’s position on national defense, education, immigration and the environment, going on to cite reasons for his support.

When a spokeswoman for University of Florida was asked about Machen’s actions, however, she declined to confirm whether Machen endorsed McCain.