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News Clips 02/20/2014
Barron to leave FSU in April
Source: FSView, 02/19/14
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By Brendan Bures
The tone of Florida State’s Board of Trustees meeting was thankful and determined Wednesday as they charted the university for a life after President Eric Barron, who resigned and accepted a position as Penn State’s president Monday.
Barron’s tenure as FSU president will officially end April 2 as approved by the Board and Barron, who was present for the beginning of the meeting, apologized for the stress and understood the pain felt by all parties affected.
He leaves amidst high-profile initiatives like the top 25 planning committee, an effort to launch FSU into the top 25 public universities in the nation, and the billion dollar capital fundraising campaign.
While he may be departing from FSU, he promised that he would continue to fulfill his presidential responsibilities during the remainder of his time in office.
“I will do everything I can: date, timing, advice, wondering around talking to donors, you name it,” Barron said during his opening remarks.
Barron shortly left to allow the Board to speak freely and openly about the university’s plans in finding a replacement for him. To begin, members of the Board expressed gratitude to Barron for his time as university president.
“If we’re looking for a model president, we don’t need to look too much farther than Eric Barron,” trustee Andy Haggard said. “Same vision, same work habits, same foresight and the same leadership.”
Haggard’s sentiment was echoed by other members of the Board as they detailed the characteristics they will be searching for in a new university president. Florida State, members of the board said, has a unique position for a university president because of the school’s history of excellence in athletics, its current academic profile push and their proximity to and relationship with state legislature. Due to Florida law, the legislature has much more of a say in the direction of state universities than in other states. Barron, in a press conference announcing him as Penn State’s new president, alluded to as such, referencing his eagerness to work with Pennsylvania’s more lax legislative.
A main criteria of FSU’s new president for most trustees was a continued vigor in raising the university’s academic profile. Trustee Gary Tyson stated that although experience in legislation is preferential, it is not necessary.
“As we saw in Eric’s case that can be learned,” Tyson said. “I hope to see candidates with a very strong academic background, preferably candidates from aspirational schools.”
Student body President Rosie Contreras reiterated Tyson’s thoughts about FSU’s new president striving for academic excellence.
“While we do care about the success of our team from an athletic perspective we’re here to get an education, an outstanding one, and we have the foundation, we just need the leader,” Contreras said.
The Board elected Trustee Ed Burr chairman of the presidential search committee. Citing the example set by the presidential search committee in 2009, the search committee to find Barron’s replacement will have a cross-section of representatives from FSU’s diverse campus from students, to faculty, to alumni and boosters.
The search committee will utilize a search firm, as they have done previously, to ease the process. Members of the community can voice their opinion to campus leaders and possibly through FSU’s presidential search website, which can be found at fsu.edu/presidentialsearch. In what way remains to be seen as the site is still being made.
To close, the Board decided not to elect an interim president at this time, due to the fact that Barron resigned recently and they have not had the proper time to locate a candidate. They will announce an interim president at their next meeting on Mar. 7.