Kelli Stargel's hilarious hire shows nobody cares about Florida Polytechnic University
During her first full month "working" for Florida Poly, 8 of 20 work days of the nepo former senator Stargel's official calendar showed no meetings or interactions or work activity of any kind. LOL.
Former GOP state senator Kelli Stargel is “senior advisor for strategic relationships” for Lakeland’s Florida Polytechnic University. Her job description (which I’ve posted at the end of this article) declares:
A primary goal of this position is to manage and maximize key external relationships that are essential to the President’s strategy for increasing the impact of the University. … This position will report directly to the president.
Stargel said that during her time in the Legislature she found that some in Florida wrongly believe Florida Poly is a trade or technical school. Stargel, whose salary is $120,000, said her role will involve “telling the story” of the university.
“I'm going to be working on making sure that people are aware of what we have here, to continue to develop and cultivate that,” Stargel said, “and using my relationships with who I already know but then also continuing to broaden that, so that not just the whole state but, honestly, the nation knows what we have right here in the state of Florida.”
Because FPU has very little endowment or private sector financial support, you and I, the taxpayers, are mostly paying Kelli’s $120,000 salary, which is roughly two-and-a-half times what the median public school teacher makes.
Kelli spent her entire legislative career insulting and terrorizing public school teachers as lazy government employees. So it’s quite funny to note her “lesson plan” for managing relationships and “telling the Florida Poly story” would get any teacher fired. The image below is a glimpse at Stargel’s official Florida Poly calendar for April, which I received on April 19th.
40 percent of Kelli’s April work days completely devoid of any calendered work activity
As you can see, in her first full month of work, 8 of 20 (40 percent) of work days showed no planned interactions with anyone of any kind. 14 of 20 (70 percent) had no more than one calendered activity.
Not one Monday in April had a single meeting or interaction scheduled. Perhaps she’s on a four-day work week?
Kelli was scheduled to attend the fancy eMerge Americans tech bro conference in Miami on three days of one week. I don’t know if she got to see the Q&A and/or VIP event with noted tech entrepreneur Tom Brady; but I’m sure it benefitted Florida Poly.
And she had an obligatory meeting with Publix part-owner Barney Barnett, likely a nice dinner given the 6:30 time. Other than that, it’s pretty much an occasional on campus meeting or external event and — not much else.
May is shaping up as even more chill.
Maybe she has a shadow calendar with “the real work;” but I doubt it. If the tech bro conference and Barney make it to the public calendar, it’s hard to see what wouldn’t.
So seriously, what does Kelli do all day inside the one real Florida Poly building? — which I’m told rarely tries to open and close the cool “sail” anymore because its mechanism is already breaking down.
How is Kelli evaluated? Who cares?
I did not think it possible for the state of Florida and the leaders of Polk County to care as little as I do about what happens to Florida Polytechnic. But they have proven me wrong.
If you want a chuckle, take a read of the whole job description that I’ve posted below and then compare to Kelli’s calendar.
And if you really want a chuckle, read the required “Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities” part:
Demonstrated ability to build relationships and significant internal and external stakeholder/partnership experience
Impeccable verbal, written, research and communication skills
“Impeccable” is Florida Poly’s word; but the emphasis is mine because it’s so funny.
Throughout her career, Kelli Stargel mostly made news for bad relationships — with county commissioners, school board members, and, sadly, her own personal relationships.
And she recently made news because her no exception abortion law was so badly written that it forced Lakeland Regional Health to force a young woman to give birth to an unviable fetus. Kelli told the media she didn’t intend for that to happen through her law. And yet, she was so unclear, so lacking in “impeccable” written skills, that a brutal and cruel forced birth happened anyway.
A grift from Day 1
Florida Poly is lucky that the Corcoran/Rufo bust-out of New College has set truly epic new standards for grift. Kelli’s hire is a more routine kind of grift, which can pass largely unregarded.
And compared to Corcoran’s doubling of the already absurd New College presidential salary, Florida Poly President Randy Avent’s $478,000 bankroll is mid. But like all college presidents, he’s got a lot of perks.
It’s a very nice package for who a guy who basically runs a building that’s breaking down. Take a look at how Avent’s per student rate compares to university presidents statewide. He’s no Corcoran — granted, that’s next level — but he’s no slouch.
Born of J.D. Alexander’s inheritance baby vanity, Marshall Goodman’s hucksterism, and squandered seed money from local Polk and Lakeland taxpayers, today Florida Poly is primarily a state-funded sinecure factory for unaccomplished “leaders” who like to say the word “disruption” and talk science with Tom Brady.
If you want argue with me about that, board members and capital supporters who don’t provide any private capital, I’m just gonna chuckle and tap this sign:
Ya’ll hired Kelli Stargel.