Barron was widely considered the best candidate of the 19 who were originally considered. He has an impressive resume that includes research and administrative duties. He killed his interview the other day.
Here is is bio from FSU.edu:
Eric J. Barron — director, National Center for Atmospheric Research (2008-present). Previously served as dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin (2006-2008); dean, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Pennsylvania State University (2002-2006); and professor of geosciences, Pennsylvania State University. (1989); Received his bachelor's degree in geology from Florida State in 1973.
This is good for the state of FSU athletics, as I wrote a couple months ago we need to find someone who will stay out of the athletic department's way. Barron has no connection to football at all, he is purely an academic candidate. This is great news especially for all of us that are alumni. He is very respected in the scientific community. The National Research center that he runs is a gigantic campus which will help him transition into the job. As a research institution Florida State's Board of Trustees decided to make the right call and pursue an academic candidate.
People I know who have met him say that he is very charismatic which is helpful in raising funds. He raised funds at Penn State and Texas which are both bigger and better schools than FSU. Most people in Tallahassee have been genuinely impressed over the last week. He has experience in speaking with legislators in Washington as well. This is a very good hire, academically and administratively.