Frank T. Brogan, a higher-education executive and former Florida lieutenant governor, was picked Wednesday to be the next chancellor of Pennsylvania's 14-university State System of Higher Education.
The system's board of governors unanimously selected Brogan, a Republican who was Florida's lieutenant governor from 1999-2003 under then-Gov. Jeb Bush and chancellor of the State University System of Florida since 2009.
Brogan, who also served as president of Florida Atlantic University from 2003 to 2009, will be the fourth chancellor to lead Pennsylvania's public university system, the 13th largest in the nation. It enrolls about 115,000 students, compared with the 350,000 students in Florida's system.
The position is the highest-paid job in Pennsylvania's state government, but Brogan will take a pay cut from his $357,000 Florida salary. He will receive the same $327,500 salary that was paid to the previous chancellor, John Cavanaugh, who stepped down in February.
Brogan, who was in Florida when the vote was taken, planned to participate in an afternoon conference call with reporters.
"Balancing quality and accessibility has been my top priority in Florida and should be the mission of every good public university," he said in a statement after the vote.
The president of the union that represents more than 6,000 faculty members and coaches in the Pennsylvania system said Brogan's experience in academia as well as state government should be beneficial.
"The chancellor is the face of public higher education in the commonwealth," said Steve Hicks of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.
Peter Garland, a former executive vice chancellor of the Pennsylvania system, has served as acting chancellor since Cavanaugh resigned after five years to head the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.
Brogan, who will be 60 by the time he starts his new job Oct. 1, was picked over two other finalists in an unusually secretive search process.
The system's board of governors, most of whom are gubernatorial appointees, voted unanimously in January to keep the search process secret for the first time in the system's 31 years. Such secrecy is increasingly sought by higher-education executives out fear of reprisal if their current employers discover they have been job hunting.
Brogan will be the third consecutive Florida resident to serve as Pennsylvania's chancellor, said system spokesman Kenn Marshall. Cavanaugh had been president of West Florida University in Pensacola and his predecessor, Judy Hample, held the same job that Brogan is leaving, Marshall said.
Only Guido Pichini, the board's chairman, physically attended Wednesday's meeting. The other 14 members who joined Pichini in approving Brogan's selection voted through a teleconference.
The state system comprises the universities at Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.
It does not include Penn State, Temple University, the University of Pittsburgh or Lincoln University, which receive state funding but are not under direct state control.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.