Stokes Confirmed as FSU Interim President

Courtesy of FSU
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By: Lanetra Bennett
March 20, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - FSU President, Dr. Eric Barron's temporary replacement is now official.

The Florida Board of Governors confirmed Garnett Stokes as the interim president Thursday. The FSU Board of Trustees voted Provost Stokes to fill the interim position on March 7th, but the B.O.G. had to confirm the selection.

Dr. Barron was named the new president of Penn State University last month.

Stokes says she plans to continue with the initiatives Barron had in place and says she looks forward to celebrating graduations and students' accomplishments as the university heads into one of the busiest months.

She says, "We are an incredibly wonderful university. I believe that we are on the right path to the top 25; that President Barron has left us in a very strong position. I am delighted to be able to follow in his footsteps."

Stokes begins as interim at the end of day on April 2nd, when Barron's contract is terminated. She says the search committee meets for the first time Friday, March 21st to start finding a permanent president.

"I am delighted to be able to serve Florida State University in this capacity," said FSU Provost Garnett Stokes.

Stokes made that comment after the university's Board of Trustees voted to name her interim president.

It comes after current President Eric Barron announced he's taking that role at Penn State.

Barron brought Stokes to FSU two and a half years ago to serve in that number two administration slot.

The board voted unanimously to name Stokes the interim president.

That vote came after Trustee Peggy Rolando asked a question about the full time job.

"Is Provost Stokes going to be a candidate for the position of president?," Rolando questioned.

Rolando said she was concerned if Stokes was a candidate for the full time job, it might hurt the pool of outside candidates.

However Rolando decided against offering an amendment to prevent Stokes from getting the job full time.

"If she was serving as provost and announced that she was a candidate for president, it would have the exact same effect," Barron told the trustees.

Eyewitness News asked Stokes if she's interested in the president's job full time.

"I haven't really given that that much thought," she said. "I have been focused on where we're going to head over the next few months," said Stokes.

The Board of Trustees put together a presidential search committee.

The group will meet in two weeks to choose a firm to help with the process of selecting a full time president.

In the meantime Stokes says she may need some help with her current job and may appoint an interim provost.

"Neither job will get done well if I don't recognize that it's impossible to do both," she said.

When asked if her job as interim president comes with a pay raise Stokes chuckled, "I have no idea."

Stokes says she sees herself staying at FSU for a long time.

The decision to name her interim president came at the end of a more than three hour meeting.

A couple of the trustees left the meeting before it was over as debate was ongoing about the search committee selection process.

News Release: FSU
Updated: March 7, 2014, 6pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida State University Board of Trustees today voted to select Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Garnett S. Stokes as the university’s interim president, effective at the close of business Wednesday, April 2.

The Florida Board of Governors must approve the appointment of Stokes. In voting to select her as interim president, the Board of Trustees did not preclude Stokes from applying for the presidency being vacated by Eric J. Barron, Florida State’s 14th president.

As provost, Stokes is the university’s chief academic officer and second-highest ranking administrator, and oversees the overall academic mission of the university. Namely, she directs the allocation of academic resources; leads the development and enhancement of scholarship and research; evaluates the quality of academic activity; reviews all faculty appointments; and collaborates with the deans, faculty and officers of the university to promote academic excellence at all levels of the institution.

Stokes, who also is a professor of psychology at Florida State, holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of Georgia. To learn more about Stokes, visit

Members of the 27-member Presidential Search Advisory Committee, chaired by Florida State University Trustee Ed Burr, were approved by the board during today’s Board of Trustees meeting. The committee, comprised of faculty, staff, students, alumni and other constituencies, will work alongside a search firm that will be appointed shortly.
Trustees delegated the authority to identify and hire a search firm to the Presidential Search Advisory Committee. The committee’s first meeting is March 21.

Barron was named president of Pennsylvania State University Feb. 17. His final day at Florida State will be April 2 and he will start at Penn State on or before May 12. For more information about Florida State’s presidential search, visit

Updated By: Andy Alcock
March 7, 2014, 3:45pm

Provost Garnett Stokes voted Interim FSU President by Board of Trustees.

More information will be available on tonight's 6pm newscast.

News Release: Florida State University

The Florida State University Board of Trustees will meet Friday, March 7. The trustees will consider several agenda items to include an interim president and members of a Presidential Search Advisory Committee.

Prior to the 1 p.m. meeting, four of the board's committees will meet: Efficiency, 8 a.m., 205 Turnbull; Academic Affairs, 10 a.m., 215 Turnbull; Finance, Business and Audit, 10 a.m., 214 Turnbull; and Student Affairs, 10 a.m., 201 Turnbull.

Dear Members of the University Community:

I am writing to provide you with the most current information pertaining to the presidential search for Florida State University. On Feb. 19, President Eric J. Barron, Ph.D. ('73), officially notified the Florida State University Board of Trustees of his intent to assume the presidency of Penn State University. Dr. Barron's last day at Florida State will be April 2.

Presidential transitions are defining moments for universities that present both challenges and opportunities. I am delighted to say Florida State has many opportunities that lie ahead. Without question, we will find a new president who will build on the success and solid foundation Dr. Barron has created since his arrival in February 2010. Here are the immediate steps we plan to take:

· On March 7, at its regularly scheduled meeting, the University Board of Trustees will name an interim president, whose appointment must be approved by Florida's Board of Governors, announce members of the Presidential Search Committee and hear proposals from presidential search firms.

· To ensure transparency in our search process, the University has created a website that you can access at any time to find the most current and accurate information: . Please note that most information will be posted after the March 7 meeting.

· We have met with the National Campaign Committee, college deans and key donors to gauge the status and next steps for our $1 billion fundraising campaign. With overwhelming support, the decision was made to proceed as planned. In fact, we are ahead of schedule. With 46 percent of the campaign's time elapsed, we have achieved 54 percent of our goal, thanks to the continued generosity and support of alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students.

I promise not to overwhelm your inbox, but I will plan to update you as the presidential search progresses. As you know, these national searches take time. In the interim, I hope you visit the presidential search page to keep abreast of the latest developments.
With Florida State recently designated as a preeminent university for the State of Florida, named by U.S. News and World Report as the nation's most efficient university for the second year in a row, and our national football championship, we have every intention of keeping this positive momentum going. As we build on this success, I extend my thanks to you for your continued support as we look forward to welcoming the 15th president of Florida State University.

Allan Bense

Chair, Florida State University Board of Trustees

By Andy Alcock
March 6, 2014

Tallahassee, Fla. -- A new leader will soon take the reigns of Florida State University.

Current President Eric Barron is leaving for Penn State.

Friday, FSU's Board of Trustees is scheduled to choose a new interim president.

When asked if she was interested in the position current Provost Garnett Stokes declined to specifically comment about the job.

At a ribbon cutting ceremony for FSU's new Honors, Scholars and Fellows House, President Barron discussed what type of person the board should choose.

"What the board has to do, and I'm confident they will, is pick somebody who will pick up the ball and go so there's no pause, there's no pause in our capital campaign, there's no pause in our commitment to the students, there's no pause in the commitment to big ideas and we certainly can do that," said Barron.

When asked if Garnett Stokes would be a good candidate Barron said "of course."

Eyewitness News will be at the Board of Trustees meeting Friday.

We'll tell you who the board picks as interim president and update the selection process on finding a full time president.


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