RALEIGH -- N.C. State University Chancellor Marye Anne Fox said Wednesday that she was planning to remain at N.C. State despite rumors that she is being considered for a White House post.
Fox's possible nomination for director of the White House Office of Science and Technology -- the top science policy job within the new administration -- recently has sparked speculation as to whether she will accept the position.
Last week several news outlets, including The Associated Press, The Chronicle of Higher Education and The News & Observer of Raleigh, reported that Fox was being considered for a White House position.
At the monthly N.C. State chancellor--student liaison meeting Wednesday, Fox acknowledged that she has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the post, but said she had not yet been offered a position.
"(The) speculation has been fueled by my connections with (President George W.) Bush," Fox said.
While Fox was serving as vice president for research at the University of Texas at Austin from 1994 to 1998, she also sat on the Texas Governor's Science and Technology Council.
Fox served in this position under then-Texas Gov. Bush until 1998, when she became the 12th chancellor at N.C. State.
Fox declined to comment as to whether she would accept the position if offered, but added that she intends to stay at N.C. State for some time.
Fox is currently a member of several scientific organizations, including the Stanford Research Institute and the Committee on Science Engineering and Public Policy of the National Research Council.
"My responsibility to build a national reputation for N.C. State has caused me to maintain a close relationship with Washington," Fox said.
Debbie Griffith, director of News Services at N.C. State, said she was aware of the circulating rumors but did not know how legitimate they were.
"There was a rumor Fox was on the list, but she has never been contacted by the administration," Griffith said.
She added that while Fox is not actively pursuing the position, she didn't know whether Fox would turn down an offer from President Bush.
U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-N.C., sent a letter last week to President Bush recommending Fox for the position.
Etheridge concluded the letter by urging Bush "to appoint (Fox) as director of the Office of Science and Technology at the White House."
Gary Palin, one of about two dozen students to attend the meeting, was unaware of the speculation, but said that he believes Fox is dedicated to her current position.
"(Fox) has a commitment to N.C. State but obviously has to consider an opportunity to serve the nation."
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