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Board of Regents CEO and President Reggie Robinson and Regents Chairperson Donna Shank traveled from Topeka to personally introduce Scott in his new role. Scott was selected last week after a rigorous national search that drew finalists from different corners of the nation.
"Dr. Scott's outstanding record of achievement and leadership combined with his crystal clear sense of the current challenges and possibilities in the world of higher education make him ideally suited to provide visionary leadership that will move an outstanding university to even greater levels of achievement and distinction," Shank said upon announcing the appointment last week.
Dr. Scott, who currently serves as provost and vice president for academic affairs at PSU, will officially take the reins as president July 1. His introduction this week, he said, was an opportunity for him to express his gratitude to everyone who supported him during the process.
"The selection process was uphill every step of the way," he said. "I have been overwhelmed with the notes and letters of support from so many people. Yet I know their hopes are not about me - they are about this great university and the dreams they have for PSU, and those are dreams that I share."
Scott recognized his family members in attendance, including his wife of 35 years, Cathy. He also acknowledged his daughter, Dr. Kylie Stewart, an education professor at PSU, and his son, Phil - as well as brother Lee, the former CEO of Wal-Mart, and new granddaughter Josie, who was born a month ago. Like Scott, many members of his family have degrees from PSU, including his wife, daughter, parents, and brother Lee. He also has a brother Jim, who is the retired president of a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm.
In recounting his history and ties to the university, Scott shared a number of humorous anecdotes with the crowd, such as a car he and Cathy had to push around campus in order to get started when they were students. He also acknowledged the challenges he faces today in his new role. Learning from the experiences of current president Dr. Tom Bryant, whom Scott praised during his comments, has prepared him to lead PSU into the future.
"I am looking forward to this opportunity to work with each and every person here to make this great institution even greater," he said.
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