University trustees move forward with presidential transition

Edward Burr

The Florida State University Board of Trustees appointed trustee Edward E. “Ed” Burr chairman of the university’s presidential search advisory committee at its meeting Feb. 19.

The emergency meeting followed the resignation of Florida State President Eric J. Barron, who is leaving to become the president of Penn State University. Trustees unanimously approved April 2 as Barron’s last day at Florida State.

University Board of Trustees Chair Allan Bense expects to name an interim president at the trustees’ next regular meeting March 7. Both the FSU trustees and the Board of Governors must approve the interim president selection.

Bense also plans to identify the members of the presidential search advisory committee by the March meeting. These members will represent various university constituencies and stakeholders including faculty, staff, students, alumni, boosters and the FSU Foundation.

Bense nominated Burr, who has served on the Board of Trustees since 2011,to serve as chair of the newly established committee. The nominationwas unanimously approved by the trustees.

Trustees discussed the traits and qualifications they would like to see in the university’s next president and indicated they would move forward in a thoughtful but swift manner. Feedback and inclusivity are important aspects of the presidential search process, Bense said.

Barron was invited by the board to make a statement at the beginning of the meeting. He expressed his appreciation to the board and the university community.

“This place is incredibly important to me. I love it deeply and I’m incredibly proud of all the things that have occurred over the last four years,” he said.

“Certainly there is a lot of pain to be making such a change when you’ve been full in it heart and soul for such a long period of time. That wouldn’t match the pain that I think I would feel if this institution did not continue to move at the speed that it’s capable of to move forward.”

Barron offered his assistance during the transition.

The university has launched a website dedicated to the search,

To view the Feb. 19 meeting, visit