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Penn State names Eric Barron as university's new president

Published On: Feb 17 2014 12:58:39 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 17 2014 02:14:35 PM EST
Eric Barron, new president of Penn State, as of Feb 2014

Florida State President Eric Barron will be the next president of Pennsylvania's largest university.

Penn State trustees unanimously approved the selection of Barron, 62, at a special meeting Monday in State College. Barron is a former professor and dean at Penn State.

"In Eric Barron, we have found a president who is energetic, innovative and dedicated to maximizing the potential of our great institution," said Keith Masser, the board's chairman, in introducing Barron to the board.


"Dr. Barron has a track record as an accomplished educator, highly respected researcher, an effective administrator and an internationally recognized scholar. It is clear that Eric Barron is not only familiar with our University, but also has the experience and knowledge to lead us forward, continuing our path of excellence," Masser said.

Barron will be paid $800,000 a year, with an additional $200,000 retention payment. He will start in May and succeed Rodney Erickson, who is retiring.

Barron shocked FSU trustees Saturday by publicly talking about leaving the school in a newspaper interview in Florida. He had been FSU's  president since 2010

He worked at Penn State from 1986 until 2006. Four of those years he served as dean of its College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Barron's selection culminates a 15-month search process.

"My wife, Molly, and I spent 20 years at Penn State, where I served as a faculty member, center director and dean. In that time, I learned what it meant to continually strive for excellence – to make every year stronger than the year before," Barron said.

"I also came to understand the power of this community, we are unbeatable when we are working together for a common purpose. It is an honor to lead this great University," he added.

A native of Lafayette, Ind., Barron received a bachelor of science degree in geology from Florida State University, a master's degree and Ph.D, both in oceanography, from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla.

The president-elect and his wife, Molly, an educator, will live in Schreyer House on the University Park campus. The Barrons have two grown children, Emily and James.