University of Richmond president to step down

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Edward L. Ayers, the president of the University of Richmond (UR), announced his intention to step down on June 30, 2015. He became president of the university in 2007.

“Next year is a fitting one for a University transition as we finish important work,” he said in an open letter to the UR community. “With the conclusion of The Richmond Promise , we will begin to think about aspirations to guide the next strategic plan.”

Charles A. Ledsinger Jr., rector of UR’s Board of Trustees praised Ayers’ leadership and vision.

“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,” Ledsinger said in a statement.

Although Ayers is stepping down, he will continue teaching at the university and will still be involved with UR’s Digital Scholarship Lab. Ayers currently teaches history at UR and was recently awarded the National Humanities Medal at the White House by President Barack Obama.

Applications during Ayers’ tenure rose by almost 50 percent. In the class of 2017, more than one in seven students is a first-generation college student, and one in four is a U.S. student of color, the university said in a news release.

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