University of Richmond President to step down next year

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - University of Richmond President Ed Ayers announced Friday he intends to step down on June 30, 2015.

Ayers is the ninth president of the university and has served in the post for seven years.

He says he picked 2015 as his date of departure, as it coincides with the end of the University's "The Richmond Promise" strategic plan and the Fulfilling the Promise campaign.

"As I reflect on all that we have accomplished together, I have decided that these culminations provide a natural conclusion to my term as president," he wrote. "Next year is a fitting one for a university transition as we finish important work."

Ayers will remain a member of the University of Richmond faculty, will continue to work with the university's Digital Scholarship Lab, write books, continue his nationally syndicated public radio program, "Backstory with the American History Guys." He also serves as founding chair of the American Civil War Museum and will continue to teach Richmond students.

"The university is stronger today by every possible measure—in academic excellence, fiscal health, national and international reputation, and accessibility—because of President Ayers' thoughtful leadership and vision," says Charles A. Ledsinger Jr., rector of the university's Board of Trustees. "As you can imagine, the board accepted his decision with disappointment, but also with deep gratitude for his outstanding leadership over the past seven years."

He was recently awarded the National Humanities Medal at the White House by President Barack Obama.

The university will launch a national search for his successor in the coming academic year.

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