Upon reflection, Gov. DeSantis decides consultant belongs on Miami Dade College board

Miami Dade College North Campus/ Miami Dade College website

Gov. Ron DeSantis, who rescinded education consultant Nicole Washington’s appointment to the board that oversees Florida’s public universities, now has named her a trustee of Miami Dade College.

Washington will serve a four-year term on the college’s board of trustees, the governor’s office announced Tuesday. She’d been among 45 people placed on state boards and commissions by former Gov. Rick Scott, as his administration dwindled to a close, whose appointments DeSantis withdrew upon taking office.

In Washington’s case, the Scott appointment was to the Board of Governors of the State University System, comprising 12 four-year and advanced-degree research and teaching institutions. As of fall 2017, the system enrolled 358,522 students.

In late February, DeSantis retracted another 169 Scott appointments. Nothing personal, DeSantis explained during a news conference. “I think it’s important for us to take a fresh look at all this and make sure that we have folks who are going to work hard to put stuff in the right direction,” the governor said.

Washington is well known in education circles, holding a seat on the Florida A&M University board of trustees and having served as vice chairwoman of the education committee during the recent deliberations by the state Constitution Revision Commission. Earlier, she served as associate director for government relations for the university system and advised Scott on education spending early in his first term. She now runs Washington Strategies LLC, an education consultancy.

The Miami Beach resident holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Princeton University plus advanced degrees from Mercy College and Columbia University, according to the governor’s office.

The 320,000-student Florida College System offers two-year and some four-year degree programs plus vocational education. Miami Dade is the largest member in the system, based on enrollment, and has eight campuses.

DeSantis campaigned in favor of developing more career and technical education for students uninterested in academic study, and has promoted these programs while in office.

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