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Eric Barron To Retire In June 2022

Penn State President Eric Barron plans to retire at the end of his current contract in June 2022, he confirmed at the conclusion of Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

“It has been my greatest professional honor to serve as president of Penn State and to be able to collaborate with and learn from our amazing faculty, staff and students every day,” Barron, the university’s 18th president, said. “Together, we have elevated Penn State as a leader in higher education poised to meet the future and to attract the best and brightest students.”

In March, the Board of Trustees will begin a phased approach to selecting Penn State’s next president. Plans will kick off by receiving input from “key stakeholders,” including faculty, staff, and students, to determine what qualities they’d want in a future leader.

“President Barron’s outstanding leadership and support for the ongoing success of our students, faculty and staff have helped make a great public university even greater,” Board of Trustees Chair Matt Schuyler said. “President Barron’s stable guidance, successful management of critical challenges, and drive to innovate will have a lasting impact and have prepared Penn State to lead the future of public higher education. As we look toward the future, the University is well-positioned for our next leader.”

At Friday’s meeting, Barron outlined a number of goals for his remaining 16 months in power, including:

  • Raise $2.1 billion in philanthropy in six years (by June 30, 2022).
  • Undertake a comprehensive assessment of all programs to determine impact on student debt and completion rates.
  • Complete the expansion of the Innovation Hub (formerly James Building) at University Park.
  • Enhance collaboration between Student Affairs and academic colleges to promote engagement and enrich opportunities.
  • Focus on racism, bias and community safety as part of the educational mission by establishing an institute focused on anti-racism and anti-bias scholarship, working with the Faculty Senate on curriculum, and offering education on the history of Penn State.
  • Continue to build technology capacity to support student mobility and degree planning; use this information to enhance institutional efficiencies.

“In the next 16 months, even as we continue to weather the challenges of the pandemic as a community, we cannot pause in our efforts to provide the highest quality education, contribute knowledge to society, and support Pennsylvania communities, the nation and world,” Barron said.

Barron became Penn State’s president in 2014. He previously spent 20 years at the university as dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

You can read Barron’s full presentation to the board through this online link.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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