FSU's Eric Barron introduced as next Penn State president

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

Penn State officially introduced Florida State president Dr. Eric J. Barron as the school's next president on Monday.

Barron will replace Dr. Rodney Erickson, the former provost and executive president who took over the role from Graham Spanier in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal in November 2011. Erickson plans to retire when his contract ends on May 12.

The announcement concludes a 15-month search process for Penn State. While the identity of the school's next president remained a secret until Monday, Barron's hire does not come as a surprise to many around State College.

Barron worked at Penn State for 20 years, beginning as director of the Earth System Science Center and associated professor in 1986. By 2002, he was named dean of the school's College of Earth and Mineral Science.

"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 on Monday via the Scranton Times-Tribune. "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."

While Penn State is more than two years and now two hires removed from the Sandusky scandal, Barron will still have to face the issue as Penn State's president. According to the Associated Press, Barron is expected to lead the school through the trial of Spanier and two other former administrators accused of a criminal cover-up.

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