Dr. Eric Barron Named Penn State’s 18th President

Audio/Story posted February 17, 2014 in CommRadio, News by Alex Eliasof



The Penn State Board of Trustees met this afternoon to formally announce and introduce the 18th president of The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Eric James Barron, president of Florida State University, will assume the position of Penn State University President on May 12, 2014.

Barron spent twenty years as a member of the Penn State faculty, serving as the Dean of the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences from 2002 through 2006. He claims that what he learned in his time at Penn State has always remained with him.

"I have taken two Penn State traits, the push for excellence and the power of community, everywhere I have gone," said Barron. "In many ways, I never left Penn State."

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved Barron for the position in today's meeting at the Penn Stater. Nearly 400 candidates were contacted in consideration for the position throughout the search, with an additional 150 who were asked to suggest candidates who might be interested in the position.

Dr. Ann Crouter, Chair of the University Search and Screen Committee, would not comment on any further details regarding the search process.

The Board also confirmed the terms of Barron’s presidential appointment in today’s meeting. The term will run from May 12, 2014 through June 30, 2019. Barron will receive an annual salary of $800,000, with a one-time transitional payment of $200,000 to be paid shortly after he takes office.

Beginning at the conclusion of his second year in office, Barron will be paid an additional $200,000 per year in retention payments.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson expressed his full approval of the Board of Trustees’ decision, and pledged his support in Barron’s transitional process.

"In Eric Barron, you have found a leader who will help realize the very best of this institution and will successfully lead Penn State into the future,” said Erickson. “I offer him my full assistance during the transition.”

Barron is 62 years old and will be 67 by the end of his new contract. He said he is aware that he cannot do the job indefinitely, however he would like to do the job for as long as he is capable of doing it well.

“You could ask my wife, and she would tell you that I have trouble sitting still and that she can’t imagine what retirement would be like for me,” said Barron. “What I want to do is to do the job the best way that I can, so that everybody looks me in the eye and says we really don’t want you to stop.”

Barron is assuming the position of Penn State University President with the Jerry Sandusky Sex Scandal still in the recent past. He does so just months after rape allegations emerged surrounding Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.

“It is incredibly important that an institution follow due process,” said Barron, in response to a question drawing parallels between the two situations. “The commitment to all of our students, and the commitment to due process is one that I believe in thoroughly.”

Alex Eliasof is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email alexeliasof@gmail.com.