State College, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Florida State University president Eric Barron was named president of Penn State University on Monday.
Penn State trustees unanimously approved the selection at a special meeting in State College. Barron will succeed Rodney Erickson, who plans to retire by June 30.
Erickson took the position after then-president Graham Spanier resigned by mutual agreement following the arrest of Jerry Sandusky in November 2011. The Sandusky arrest also led to the firing of the late famed football coach Joe Paterno. Sandusky is serving a 30-to-60-year prison term on a conviction for sexually assaulting boys.
Barron, who will begin as Penn State's next president on May 12, dealt with a football scandal in Tallahassee. Last November, a year-old sexual assault complaint by a Florida State student against Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston became public. Following a full investigation, prosecutors did not find enough evidence against Winston to charge him with a crime.
The 62-year-old Barron was dean of Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences from 2002 to 2006, having become a member of the Penn State faculty in 1986.
"I am thrilled to take on the leadership role of one of the nation's most prestigious universities," Barron said. "Penn State, already well-known for its high academic standards, its innovative research, global vision and unmatched public service, is well-positioned for the future and for creating more opportunities for students, as well as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."
Barron left State College in 2006 to become dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas-Austin. From 2008 to 2010, Barron served as director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.