Penn State presidential search gauged interest by Condoleezza Rice

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Condoleezza Rice, the former U.S. Secretary of State and current university professor, is one of those high-powered names often dropped in campus presidential searches.


And, according to a report tonight, it appears the search firm helping Penn State University find its next president went so far as to gauge her interest, only to be told ‘thanks, but no thanks.’

The former high-ranking Bush administration member was approached by the firm, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer on its website, quoting a statement from Ms. Rice’s chief of staff Georgia Godfrey.


“We received a request about this position through a search firm,” Ms. Godfrey said. “Our office declined on her behalf since she intends to remain at Stanford. Penn State is a fine institution and Dr. Rice wishes the search committee the very best.”

The statement did not indicate the stage of the search when the approach was made to Ms. Rice. Ms. Godfrey could not immediately be reached for additional comment.

Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers was not immediately available for comment. Trustees at her school were expected to name a successor to Rodney Erickson last Friday but cancelled the meeting, saying they need more time to consider candidates

Ms. Rice is a professor of political science at Stanford University and is the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution and the Denning Professor in Global Business, according to the Hoover Institution’s web site.

Penn State is not the first state-related university in Pennsylvania to aim high in a presidential search by gauging interest of a big Washington D.C. name. The same month Colin Powell turned down a run for the White House, he politely said no to a discreet inquiry from Pitt gauging his interest in being considered in a chancellor search that eventually led to the naming of Mark Nordenberg as chancellor in 1995.


Bill Schackner:, 412-263-1977 and on Twitter: @BschacknerPG.

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