Presidential appointment: What Penn State leaders are saying

February 17, 2014

In Eric Barron, we have found a president who is energetic, innovative and dedicated to maximizing the potential of our great institution. Dr. Barron has a track record as an accomplished educator, highly respected researcher, an effective administrator and an internationally recognized scholar. It is clear that Eric Barron is not only familiar with our University, but also has the experience and knowledge to lead us forward, continuing our path of excellence. — Keith Masser, chairman of the Board of Trustees

This is certainly a pivotal time in the history of Penn State, and Eric Barron is the eminent leader that our University needs to take us to the next level of academic excellence and national prominence. Dr. Barron has remarkable experience in so many facets of higher education and within the communities of which he has been a part. He has demonstrated strengths in fiscal matters, strategic planning, leadership and communication, and his track record for partnering with the community is stellar. — Karen Peetz, Penn State Trustee; chair, trustee Presidential Selection Council

As one of three students on the Search and Screen Committee, I feel privileged to be a part of this collaborative process and to voice my support for Dr. Barron. I was greatly impressed with his commitment to student concerns, especially the affordability and accessibility of higher education. I’m confident that he will work with student organizations for the betterment of Penn State. — Katelyn Mullen, president, University Park Undergraduate Association; senior, supply chain and information systems

As a member of the Staff Advisory Council, I have been proud to represent staff interests on a number of occasions, and at no time has it been more rewarding than during this search process. Everyone came together with one unified goal and enthusiastic support for Dr. Barron. It was clear he understands the concerns of staff, and places high importance on a collegial environment, fiscal responsibility and a supportive workplace. He is an outstanding choice, and I greatly look forward to the future with Dr. Barron as Penn State’s 18th president. —Tim Whitehill, applications system analyst manager, University Budget Office

In Eric Barron, you have found a leader who will help realize the very best of this institution, and will successfully lead Penn State into the future. I have known Eric for 28 years, and can unequivocally say that he is a person of the highest integrity. He has strong academic values; he loves working with students; he’s an excellent problem solver; he is committed to the land-grant mission; and he knows how to make the most of the resources he has available.

Eric has always been an enthusiastic and supportive voice for Penn State, and he has my unqualified support as he takes on this crucial role at this historic moment.— Rodney A. Erickson, president, Penn State

The appointment of Eric Barron as the next President of Penn State is wonderful news because of his strong support for education, research, and faculty.

An award winning teacher, Dr. Barron has been an innovative leader in providing undergraduate students with superior curricular and extracurricular experiences. Throughout his career, he has worked to provide students with integrated services, staff, and space, as well as opportunities to develop leadership, professional, citizenship, and research skills outside the classroom. Penn State can expect him to be a powerful advocate for our reforms of General Education and initiatives in engaged scholarship.

At the same time, Dr. Barron has been a major force in supporting research and graduate education. He is a distinguished climate scientist and scholar, he has directed a national laboratory, and he has helped set the direction for U.S. global change research through the National Research Council. Penn State can expect him to guide our University to an even higher level of research success.

Dr. Barron is at his core a faculty member, and an advocate for faculty development, faculty rights, and faculty diversity. He is open, collegial, and collaborative. At the same time, he is uncompromising in his quest for faculty excellence. Penn State can expect him to build an even stronger faculty at the same time that he continues to improve shared governance across the University.

I can attest to these claims because I worked for Eric Barron for nearly 20 years in Penn State's Earth System Science Center and College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. I saw his talents and his devotion to Penn State first hand. I look forward to welcoming Eric and Molly back to the Penn State family. — Brenton Yarnal, chair, University Faculty Senate; professor of geography, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

Over the past several months I have had the opportunity to participate in the search process from several perspectives: as a physician and scientist at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center, as a teacher and faculty senator from the Penn State College of Medicine, and as a past president of the Penn State Alumni Association, the largest – and in my opinion, the BEST – alumni association in the world. 

From every vantage point, I have been deeply impressed by Dr. Barron. He has nearly 35 years of experience in academic administration, education, research and public service, as well as fiscal management within large and complex organizations. I am certain he is the right person to advance Penn State’s core missions of teaching, research and service.

I believe that Dr. Barron will be an outstanding president and a wonderful collaborator and friend to Penn State alumni everywhere. — David Han, associate professor of surgery and radiology at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; past president of the Penn State Alumni Association

On this historic day for our great alma mater, and on behalf of all 616,000 living alumni, the Penn State Alumni Association extends its sincere congratulations to Eric J. Barron on his appointment as the University's 18th president. As a world-class scientist and visionary administrator, Dr. Barron returns to Penn State with the experience alumni appreciate to advance the University’s land-grant mission of teaching, research, and service.

The Alumni Association looks forward to working closely with President-elect Barron as he embraces the transformative opportunities and exciting challenges ahead for Penn State and the communities we serve.

Welcome back, Dr. Barron. — Kay F. Salvino, president, and Roger L. Williams, executive director


Last Updated February 17, 2014