by Max Brantley
CONWAY, Ark. (February 15, 2013) — Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd today is stepping down as President of Hendrix College after 12 years in that position.
The announcement was made at the February meeting of the Board of Trustees, where it was also announced that, after a sabbatical, Dr. Cloyd will return to the Hendrix faculty as a professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations and work in higher education consulting.
Dr. Cloyd became the 10th President of Hendrix in October 2001 after serving as Vice President for College Relations and Development for five years. During Dr. Cloyd’s presidential tenure, the College launched Your Hendrix Odyssey: Engaging in Active Learning, which brought significant national recognition to Hendrix as a national model for engaged learning in higher education. As a result of Odyssey, Hendrix received national media attention, including being featured on the front page of the New York Times and named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report for five consecutive years.
Also during Dr. Cloyd’s tenure, the Hendrix student body and faculty grew by almost 40 percent and Hendrix successfully completed a $100 million comprehensive campaign, the largest in the school’s history. As a result, Hendrix significantly increased student financial assistance; endowed innovative academic, co-curricular, and student life programs; and developed state-of-the-art facilities for art, science, literature and language, wellness and athletics, and student life and technology. The College also increased student housing by constructing student apartments above the mixed-use buildings in The Village at Hendrix, a New Urbanist community adjacent to campus that began during President Cloyd’s tenure. Hendrix also played a lead role in the formation of the Rwanda Presidential Scholars initiative, with the support of the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, and launched the Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics, and Calling and the Crain-Maling Center of Jewish Culture.
President Cloyd described his decision as part of the natural cycle.
“One thing I have learned is that organizations are living, evolving organisms,” he said. “Twelve years is a reasonable time to run an organization and, during that time, Hendrix has assumed national leadership among private, liberal arts colleges and has successfully completed a major capital campaign. The time is right to bring in fresh leadership to forge a new strategic direction for the College.”
“I will always be grateful to the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, and alumni and friends who have invested so much of themselves so generously on behalf of our students,” President Cloyd added. “We have carried the legacy of our founders, the United Methodist Church, and our predecessors at Hendrix forward and, with the support of this community, Hendrix will continue to reach new horizons.”
“President Cloyd has positioned Hendrix as a major innovator and nationally recognized leader in the field of engaged liberal arts education,” said Hendrix alumnus David Knight, Chair of the Hendrix Board of Trustees. “We are deeply grateful for President Cloyd’s bold vision and perseverance during these extraordinary times.”
Hendrix alumnus W. Ellis Arnold III, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Dean of Advancement, will serve as Acting President during a national search for Dr. Cloyd’s successor.
“President Cloyd’s leadership will always be synonymous with an era of unprecedented progress for the College,” said Arnold. “I look forward to working with Hendrix Trustees, faculty and staff, students, and alumni and friends to continue the advancement of the Hendrix mission.”
Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. Hendrix is featured in the 2012 edition of the Princeton Review as one of the country’s best 377 colleges, the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think about Colleges, Forbes magazine's annual list of America's Top 650 Colleges, and the 2013 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.
ALSO, Cloyd sent the following letter to alumni:
Serving as president of Hendrix College for the past twelve years has been one of the greatest joys of my life. When I look across the campus and reflect on all of the lives transformed by this place, I know we have been blessed by God’s Grace and Presence.
During that time, we have brought our motto Unto the Whole Person to life through the Odyssey program. We are now positioned to build on that momentum to reach new horizons.
Here is one thing I have learned: Organizations are living, evolving organisms. That is why through prayer and deep reflection with my family, I have decided that it is time for new leadership. Thus, I have informed the Board that I will not seek an additional term, but will step down from active service to a Presidential Sabbatical. During this time I will write, consult, and explore other opportunities to put my gifts, talents, and experience to work.
In January 2014, I intend to return to the Hendrix faculty in my role as a tenured full professor and work as a consultant in fundraising and higher education. (A release about this news is being issued to the media today and I have attached it here for your information.)
The Hendrix community has inspired me, encouraged me, criticized me in constructive ways, called me to account as a leader, and supported me. All of this has been necessary to achieve the greatness Hendrix has enjoyed. I am fully confident that the next president, with the support of this community, will take Hendrix to even greater heights.
God bless you all.
J. Timothy Cloyd