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News Clips 02/20/2014
BLOG: FSU accepts Barron resignation, lays groundwork for presidential search
Source: Tampa Bay Times, 02/19/14
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By Tia Mitchell
Florida State University's Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of President Eric Barron effective April 2, waiving a provision in his contract that requires him to give 180 days notice.
During today's emergency meeting, Barron apologized to board members for how most of them found out he would be resigning to take the helm at Pennsylvania State University. Many of them learned the news Friday afternoon when it leaked on websites that cover Penn State. Barron told FSU board Chairman Allan Bense ahead of time but swore him to secrecy.
Barron promised to do anything he could to help FSU even as he wraps up his time in Florida.
"This place is incredibly important to me and I love it deeply and I'm incredibly proud of all the things that have occurred over the last four years," Barron said.
Only a handful of board members, when given the chance to address Barron directly, chose to leave him with parting words. That left us wondering if there are some hard feelings about his abrupt departure.
After addressing the board, Barron left the members alone to discuss how they plan to move forward in his absence.
Board member Ed Burr, a Jacksonville businessman, will head up the search process. He will be aided by a search committee consisting of board members, students, faculty, boosters, alumni and other FSU supporters.
The first order of business, however is to hire a search firm. The board hopes to review proposals as early as its next meeting on March 6 and 7. That is also when the board is expected to approve an interim president.
Members also discussed characteristics they would like to find in the next permanent president. Bense said after the meeting he would like someone who fits the mold of Barron: an academic who is also comfortable navigating the political process since FSU and other public universities are very dependent on state funding. All things being equal, he would also prefer an FSU alum.