Dear Friends and Colleagues,
In a sense, serving as a college president is like being a long-term guest, and one that carries the responsibility to know when it’s time to leave. Since this job doesn’t come with an expiration date or a win-loss record, it’s up to the president to know when it’s time.
For me, that time is now.
Last week I informed the Commissioner of Higher Education and Board of Trustees that I would step down at the end of this fiscal year on June 30, 2018. Anticipating your questions, I want you to know that I am healthy, in good spirits, and looking forward to what comes next. I know there is (always) more work to be done, but I leave content in the knowledge that I have done my share.
In 2011, as I went through the layers of interviews for this position, I was asked repeatedly how would I approach healing and bridging the divides in our university community. I said it was important for this community to collectively believe in a vision of the future greater than a single individual. I also said I hoped my presidency would be seen as an inflection point placing the university on a path to embrace its 21st century identity.
The university is financially sound, our enrollment strong, and the future bright. Serving as president of The W is without question the highlight of my career, and I am grateful for every day I have worked with you to change the lives of our students.
I am proud of what we have accomplished. Hard work has been done overhauling the curriculum, developing new and refocusing existing undergraduate and graduate academic programs, and finding efficiencies to enable the university to shift resources to new opportunities.
Broad collaborative efforts provided the foundation for these successes. The successful QEP infused our strong liberal arts curriculum across all programs and disciplines. The reengineering of enrollment management has led to stabilized enrollment and increased graduation numbers. The return to intercollegiate athletics has strengthened our traditional age student enrollment, and brought new energy to the campus and community.
Of course much work remains—it’s the nature of education. I am confident in your ability to seize new opportunities, so I look forward celebrating The W’s future accomplishments as you successfully navigate these changing times in higher education.
Kate and I will make our home in Maine where we will enjoy the four seasons and all of the outdoor adventures that accompany them. We will maintain our connection to Columbus through our growing work with the non-profit, Global Connections.
I look forward to refocusing my life and career in new ways of service. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve The W and, most importantly, for your friendship.
So carry on!