GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The University of Florida has suspended its search for the next President of the University, after Governor Rick Scott and the UF Board of Trustees Chair asked Bernie Machen to stay.

"I have asked him to continue his service as president, and I look forward to working with him, the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees on this effort to realize a new vision for higher education in Florida," said Scott.

"I am pleased to join with Governor Scott in encouraging President Machen to continue his leadership role at UF and the State University System," said Mori Hosseini, vice chairman of the Florida Board of Governors. "This is an exciting time for higher education in Florida, and I am confident we can meet the challenge of developing a new vision for our state."

Board of Trustees Chair David Brown said he will suspend the ongoing search for Machen's successor. A search committee was scheduled to select a new president on Saturday.

"Making UF a top 10 university has been my highest priority over the course of my tenure at the University of Florida," Machen said. "Now we stand at a crossroads where we have the potential to make giant strides. I have been asked to remain in office to lead that effort, and I am pleased to do so."

"As we prepared for our final round of interviews with outstanding candidates, it became increasingly clear that defining a new vision for higher education in Florida will be front and center in the months ahead, and that we have the opportunity to do this important work with the governor and the Board of Governors," Brown said. "With this opportunity, we recognized the need to take full advantage of our very capable president and felt this is not the time for a lengthy transition of leadership.

Brown said he will ask the Governance Committee of the UF Board of Trustees to enter into discussions with Machen to extend his contract and bring it forward to the full board and the Board of Governors for approval.

Machen took office as UF president in January 2004.