Officials were mum on the candidate or candidates for president, though rumors were swirling.
Several centered on Nancy Zimpher, chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY) and a graduate of Ohio State University. But a SUNY spokesman emphatically denied that Zimpher was a candidate and said she is committed to the school.
The presidential search process, meanwhile, drew criticism publicly and privately from some trustees upset that they had not been told the identity of the candidates or allowed to interview them. Only 12 of Penn State's 32 trustees served on the search committee.
"I don't know enough to even comment," trustee Ted Brown said Wednesday.
The presidential pick is critical for the university as it recovers from the child sex-abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. The new president - the university's 18th - will be charged with leading the 96,000-student, 24-campus system through continued fractious relationships with board members and alumni, some of whom are still upset that the school fired football coach Joe Paterno amid the scandal.
The new president will be in charge of a 44,000-employee enterprise that operates on an annual budget of more than $4 billion and has had to cope with flat or declining state funds in recent years.
The candidate will replace Rodney Erickson, who has said he plans to leave by June 30, or sooner if a new president is named. Erickson, whose salary is $600,000, took over in November 2011 after longtime president Graham B. Spanier was forced out by the scandal.
Another measure of the scandal was revealed Monday, when the school announced it would pay $59.7 million to settle the claims of 26 men who say former Paterno assistant Sandusky molested them.
The university last March gathered input from faculty, staff and students on what they wanted to see in the next president. Penn State hired the executive search firm of Isaacson, Miller to help with the search.
Nearly 400 people were contacted about the position and an additional 150 were asked to suggest candidates, according to the university's presidential selection website. Women, minorities, and leaders in the corporate and nonprofit sector were among those contacted, according to the website.