Universities chief Frank Brogan to leave for Penn postby John Kennedy | August 7th, 2013
Frank Brogan, head of Florida’s State University System since 2009 and a former president of Florida Atlantic University, said Wednesday that he will be leaving the chancellor’s post for a similar job in Pennsylvania on Oct. 1.
“Florida’s university system is on a clear path toward greater prominence and relevance thanks to the support and dedication of the Board of Governors, university leaders, faculty and staff,” Brogan said. “It’s never easy to leave a place you
love, but it is so much easier knowing that Florida is poised for a bright future.”
Brogan has been a political Zelig in Florida. A former teacher, Martin County schools superintendent, elected to the then-Cabinet post of Education Commissioner as a Republican and lieutenant governor under former Gov. Jeb Bush before leaving for FAU, Brogan’s Florida career spans 35 years.
His service as Florida chancellor was already winding down. He had joined the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) and was expected to step down within the next two years.
Instead, the 59-year-old Brogan looks ready to revive his academic career as chancellor of the Pennsylvania System of Higher Education, overseeing 14 universities and 115,000 students. Florida has 12 public universities and 335,000 students.
“We were looking for a strong administrator and a transformational leader who will collaborate with traditional and non-traditional stakeholders representing divergent views on what is best for our students and their families,” said Pennsylvania
Board of Governors Chairman Guido M. Pichini.
“Frank Brogan will be that leader,” Pichini added. “He has had an impressive record of success throughout his
career. He understands the many complexities and challenges facing public higher education and the vital role public universities play both in preparing students for a lifetime of their own success and in ensuring the economic vitality of the state. We are excited about him becoming our next chancellor.”
In Florida, Brogan managed to be a deft diplomat, balancing the demands of universities seeking higher tuition with a push by Gov. Rick Scott to hold the line on student costs. The struggle played out against the backdrop of a system where taxpayer support has fallen 20 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars over the past two decades.
Gov. Rick Scott has made higher education a focus of his administration. He has ridiculed Florida universities for steering students toward undergraduate degrees not easily converted toward careers. Scott appointments now also make up a majority of the State University System’s Board of Governors, Brogan’s bosses.
For Scott, Brogan’s departure represents another top state post in need of filling. In a two-week period, Florida’s social services chief and the state education commissioner both resigned, while the post of lieutenant governor has been empty since Jennifer Carroll quit last spring.
Scott said Wednesday that Brogan will be missed.
“Frank Brogan has had an incredible career in public service – especially in education,” Scott said. “Florida’s education system has benefited from his hard work and his commitment to providing every Florida child with a quality education. His
service will be greatly missed by education leaders throughout the state.
“I have no doubt, however, that he will continue working to provide families with more opportunities, so they can live their version of the American Dream.”