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Penn State Officially Begins Search for Next President

After collecting feedback for months, Penn State is officially beginning its search for the university’s 19th president.

The search is on now that Penn State developed a formal “leadership profile” that aims to summarize what the university’s next leader should bring to the role. The profile includes unsurprising characteristics like strong leadership skills, experience in academia and a commitment to promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Penn State’s profile identified three “critical capabilities” — a strategic acumen, a commitment to building organizational capacity and a passion for leading people.

“We are seeking a collaborative leader with interdisciplinary perspective to continue to move the University’s teaching, research and public service mission forward,” Board of Trustees chair Matt Schuyler said. “The ideal candidate will be dedicated to supporting student success and faculty and staff achievement, while continuing to build on our commitment to access and affordability, elevating our research profile, and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion across our campus communities.”

Current President Eric Barron plans to retire at the conclusion of his current contract next June and a 19-member Presidential Recruitment and Selection Committee will lead the charge to find his successor. The group mainly consists of current and former trustees, with only three faculty members and one student.

The selection committee will ultimately recommend one or more top finalists to the Board of Trustees, which would perform a “thorough recruitment and vetting process.”

Penn State has also partnered with global executive search firm Spencer Stuart to help find its next leader.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members can nominate candidates by emailing the search committee. They should include the nominee’s name, contact information, and background and qualifications.

More information about the search for Penn State’s next president is available on the Board of Trustees’ website.