Described as a "seasoned academic leader,'' longtime higher-education official Jan Ignash was named Thursday as interim chancellor of Florida's state university system.
The system's Board of Governors approved the appointment with little discussion, as Chancellor Frank Brogan prepares to leave his post Sept. 30 to begin a similar job in Pennsylvania.
Ignash, the system's vice chancellor and chief academic officer, will not pursue the permanent chancellor's job, said Board of Governors Chairman Dean Colson, who signaled last week he would nominate her for the interim position. Brogan also endorsed Ignash for the position.
Colson said Ignash is a "seasoned academic leader" who will be able to continue moving forward with the system's initiatives as the board searches for a new chancellor. Ignash has worked for the board since 2012, after serving as chief academic officer for Washington state's Higher Education Coordinating Board. She also has held positions at the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the University of South Florida.
The Board of Governor's meeting at New College of Florida also served as a platform for university-system leaders to offer a farewell to Brogan, a gregarious, wise-cracking fixture in state government and politics for much of the past two decades. Along with the chancellor's job, Brogan served as lieutenant governor under former Gov. Jeb Bush and also had stints as education commissioner and Florida Atlantic University president.
Brogan, who has held the top staff position in the university system for four years, was chosen last month for a job with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. He briefly became choked up during Thursday's meeting.
"I'm a better man for having known every single one of you, and I love you, and God bless you and the state of Florida,'' Brogan said.
Colson praised Brogan, who also was the subject of video tributes from university presidents and other officials.
"He's been a gift to the system at the right time,'' Colson said.