Confirmed: Penn State tried to lure Condi Rice for president

Condoleezza Rice will stay at Stanford, where she is a political science professor. Associated Press
Condoleezza Rice will stay at Stanford, where she is a political science professor. Associated Press
Posted: November 10, 2013

Pennsylvania State University apparently was hunting for some star power in its new president.

The university-hired search firm tried to lure former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, but was turned down.

Rice, who served under President George W. Bush and was the first female African American secretary of state, is a political science professor at Stanford University and a senior fellow on public policy at the Hoover Institution.

Rice's office confirmed the overture Friday.

"We received a request about this position through a search firm," said Georgia Godfrey, Rice's chief of staff. "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."

Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers declined to comment.

"It's a confidential process," she said.

Before serving in the Bush administration, Rice was provost of Stanford and oversaw the budget and academics. She joined the Stanford faculty in 1981. She was secretary of state from 2005 to 2009 and national security adviser from 2001 to 2005.

Penn State's search for a new president was thrown into upheaval last week when a candidate whom the board had sought fell through. University officials have refused to identify the candidate.

This week, the Albany Times Union reported that Penn State's chosen candidate was under review for accepting unauthorized payments as president of the State University of New York Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. The paper reported Thursday that the president, David R. Smith, had resigned.

Penn State officials last week abruptly canceled a meeting at which they were to vote on a successor to president Rodney Erickson, saying they needed more time.

Now, the pick is likely to be weeks, if not months, away. Board chairman Keith Masser has said that the board will appoint a new leader by June 30 - the date by which Erickson said he will depart.



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