J. Bernard Machen had planned to retire as president of the University of Florida this year. Instead, he will be staying on, at the request of Gov. Rick Scott and the chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees, the university announced on Tuesday.
In a written statement, both the governor and the chairman, David Brown, pointed to the institution’s goal of becoming one of the nation’s top 10 universities and called on Mr. Machen to continue leading that effort. Mr. Machen, who announced in June that he would retire by the end of this year, said that raising the institution’s national profile had been his highest priority since he became president, in 2004, and that he would be pleased to stay on.
A search for a replacement for Mr. Machen had been in its final stages, with a committee scheduled to recommend its finalists to the board on Friday and the board expected to select a new president on Saturday. But Mr. Brown said that in view of the work ahead to define “a new vision for higher education in Florida,” the board had “recognized the need to take full advantage of our very capable president and felt this is not the time for a lengthy transition of leadership.”
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