Condoleezza Rice Turns Down Penn State Presidency

The former secretary of state's office confirms the offer

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Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice kept her allegiance to Stanford University and declined an offer to become Pennsylvania State University’s next president.

Rice’s office confirmed that a search firm hired by the university contacted the Stanford political science professor for the role, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“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 on the offer. Last week school officials canceled a meeting to vote on a candidate to succeed president Rodney Erickson, citing the need for more time after a selection fell through. Board chairman Keith Masser said a new president will be announced by June 30, when Erickson said he will leave.

Rice, who is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, was the provost of Stanford before joining the Bush administration as a national security adviser from 2001 to 2005 and then becoming the first African American secretary of state from 2005 to 2009.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that Condoleezza Rice was the first African American Secretary of State. Colin Powell was the first African American Secretary of State, serving from 2001 – 2005 in the George W. Bush administration. Rice, who became Secretary of State after Powell, was the first African American woman to hold that job.

[Philadelphia Inquirer]

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