Barron, Erickson to address Penn State Council of Commonwealth Student Governments

mcarroll@centredaily.comApril 25, 2014 

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Current President Rodney Erickson, left, shakes the hand of President-elect Eric Barron at the trustees meeting. The Penn State University Board of Trustees approves Eric Barron as its next president, Monday, February 17, 2014, in University Park, Pa.

NABIL K. MARK — CDT photo Buy Photo

Incoming Penn State president Eric Barron isn’t officially on the clock until next month, but he’ll have his first chance Saturday to address university students.

Barron is set to speak before the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments, at the final meeting of the academic year Saturday afternoon at the HUB-Robeson Center. Outgoing President Rodney Erickson, whose final day is May 12, will also be speaking.

A university spokesman said Barron “will be discussing some of the priorities he sees as important for a Penn State education,” while Erickson will be providing an update highlighting developments at the campuses.

Barron is scheduled to speak for 40 minutes in the afternoon, and Erickson for 35 minutes in the morning, according to the meeting’s agenda.

The meeting is open to the public, the spokesman said.

Penn State has previously said Barron won’t be available for interviews until he takes office.

Barron had been president of Florida State University since 2010, and his last day at the Tallahassee school was April 2.

He and his wife, Molly, were expected to return to State College in mid-April.

Erickson, who has known Barron for 28 years from their time working in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, has offered to work with his successor to ensure a smooth transition.

The outgoing president previously said he expects Barron to hit the ground running. The two have talked about a number of matters relating to the transition of power, though Erickson did not elaborate at the time he made those remarks.

Barron spent 20 years at Penn State, most recently as the dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences from 2002 to 2006 before he left for a similar position at the University of Texas at Austin.

He returns to Penn State to become the university’s 18th president.

As Penn State’s president, Barron will oversee an institution with more than 98,000 students, a $4.4 billion budget and one of the largest alumni communities in the country.

His base salary is $800,000 — double his Florida State level — and with annual incentives of $200,000 and a $1 million payment at the end of the contract, his compensation package is worth $6 million.

Barron and his wife will live in the Schreyer House off Park Avenue.

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.

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