Report: Penn State tried to interest Rice in head job

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In this Thursday, July 19, 2012 photo, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks on the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, Calif. An aide to Rice says she was approached by a firm helping Penn State look for a new president but she was not interested, a newspaper reported Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
 
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An aide to former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she was approached by a firm helping Penn State look for a new president but she was not interested, a newspaper reported Friday.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/HDNfG6) said Rice’s chief of staff, Georgia Godfrey, confirmed the overture.

“We received a request about this position through a search firm,” Godfrey told the Inquirer. “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 is looking for someone to succeed Rodney Erickson, who plans to leave the job at the end of June.

An email message from The Associated Press seeking additional details from Godfrey was not immediately returned late Friday.

Rice is a political science professor and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers declined to comment on the report but told the AP that the search firm “is reaching out pretty broadly.”

Rice joined the Stanford faculty in 1981 and served as provost before serving as President George W. Bush’s national security adviser and secretary of state.

Penn State’s trustees had scheduled a special meeting last week, apparently to vote on a new president, but called it off shortly afterward, saying only that the indefinite delay was needed for more consideration of the matter.

The board has a 12-person committee working with an executive headhunter firm to find a replacement for Erickson.  Erickson became president two years ago, after Graham Spanier was forced out following the arrest of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on child molestation charges.

Sandusky was later convicted and is asking the state Supreme Court to review his case.

Spanier was charged a year ago with an alleged criminal cover-up of the Sandusky matter, allegations he denies. Spanier is awaiting trial in Harrisburg, along with former university administrators Tim Curley and Gary Schultz.

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