Florida State University Emergency Meeting
A cryptic AP report circulating this morning:
Florida State University Board of Trustees will meet in an emergency session to discuss matters related to operation of the school.
The meeting is planned for 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
No further details were immediately available.
Eric Barron isn’t sure when his last day at Florida State University will be.
Barron, FSU’s president since 2010, is expected to be named Penn State’s next president when its board of trustees meets on Monday.
As for Barron’s departure from FSU, that will be up to the trustees at Florida State, Barron said Saturday in an interview with the Democrat.
“Nobody cares for a lame duck and how they might perform,” he said. “My view is, I am committed to do whatever it takes so it works however Florida State needs to have it work. My board (FSU) needs to be in the driver’s seat.”
News of Barron’s pending exit came without warning Friday afternoon. It was first reported on a Penn State student blog and spread quickly from Pennsylvania to Tallahassee, where FSU’s leadership team was taken by surprise. David Coburn, Barron’s chief of staff, first learned about his boss’ departure Friday afternoon.
Barron, 62, has enjoyed widespread respect and admiration at FSU, in the greater Tallahassee community and even in Florida’s Capitol. [I should note that Tallahasse is Florida’s capital. – JHJ] Under his leadership, FSU has been ranked the most efficient university in the country the past two years and it has steadily moved up in the national rankings. Five weeks ago, Barron was on the field of the Rose Bowl sharing in the celebration of his alma mater’s football national championship amid falling garnet and gold confetti.
“People would be surprised at how much pain is associated with leaving Florida State,” Barron said. “It is awfully hard.”
I can’t imagine wanting to leave Tallahassee at age 62 to live in Happy Valley. The lure of returning to one’s alma mater is powerful. Bear Bryant’s leaving Texas A&M to coach Alabama and Roy Williams leaving Kansas to return to North Carolina come immediately to mind. But Barron got his undergraduate degree at FSU! Then again,
Barron was on the faculty at Penn State for 20 years, from 1986 to 2006, and State College is where they raised their two children. Barron rose at Penn State from professor to director of the Earth System Science Center.
Additionally, the lure of righting the ship at Penn State, which was rocked a couple years back with the Joe Paterno-Jerry Sandusky scandal, has to be attractive. There’s not much more Barron can do at FSU.