The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education announced today that Frank T. Brogan will be its new chancellor as of Oct. 1.
Brogan is currently chancellor of the 335,000-student State University System of Florida and previously served as president of Florida Atlantic University, lieutenant governor of Florida and Florida's commissioner of education.
PASSHE board Chairman Guido M. Pichini said the six-month-long chancellor search drew several hundred inquiries and focused on recruiting an "experienced leader who, from day one, can guide the System through the rapidly changing higher education landscape. 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."
During his interview, Brogan made presentations to various constituency groups that participated in the PASSHE selection process, including university presidents and trustees, union leaders and representatives of community and business groups. He talked about the important role public universities play in their communities, including serving as "engines of economic development that can transform a flagging economy as they fulfill their primary mission centered on teaching and learning, service and discovery."
"An important role for the chancellor is to be the system's number-one advocate for securing the resources that our faculty and staff need to deliver the world-class experience our students deserve," Brogan said. "That means making a case for reinvestment in our university system. With good data and clear communication, we can continue to demonstrate to our partners in the General Assembly and in the community that PASSHE institutions provide an impressive return on investment."
Brogan holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in education from the University of Cincinnati and Florida Atlantic University. His academic career began in 1978 as a teacher at Port Salerno Elementary School in Martin County, Fla. After working his way up through the Martin County school system — including serving six years as superintendent — he was elected Florida's commissioner of education in 1995.
Brogan took office as Florida's chancellor in 2009, and a highlight of his tenure there was reversal of a previous $300 million budget cut and the addition of more than $400 million in new funding for operations, facilities and maintenance. He also led the development of a new strategic plan that includes 39 distinct benchmarks, an integral part of Florida's new nationally recognized accountability framework; saw enrollment increase by 7 percent and degree production increase by 12 percent; and shepherded Florida to what a news release described as "record high attainment in academic standards, graduation rates, national rankings and research."
Florida education leaders praised Brogan's work over the past four years, saying the university system had experienced a renaissance.
PASSHE is the largest provider of higher education in the commonwealth, with about 115,000 students in 14 universities, including Shippensburg and Millersville. The chancellor search began after John C. Cavanaugh, who led PASSHE since 2008, announced in December that he was leaving at the end of February to take a new position.