This just in from St. John’s University:
May 25, 2011
Dear Members of the Saint John’s and Saint Benedict’s Communities,
With the close of this academic year, I will have completed my second year as president of Saint John’s University and one additional year remains on my three-year appointment. After much reflection, I have decided not to consider a second term, and so my service as president will come to completion at the end of the 2011-12 academic year. By making this announcement now, there will be sufficient time for a successful presidential search and a smooth transition.
Serving as president has been a fulfilling and exhilarating experience. Saint John’s is – and will always remain – the center of my life, and I am honored to be among those who have provided leadership during its 155 year history. Throughout the transition and well into the future, I plan to stay actively involved in the life of this wonderful community. My passion for teaching and music remain, and I look forward to re-committing myself to the many additional ways I can be of service to Saint John’s.
The past two years have been very challenging for institutions of higher education and for Saint John’s as well. In spite of many challenges, there have been some very positive developments during the first two years of my administration. Our Strategic Directions 2015 plan, including institutional goals, strategies and benchmarks, has been developed and is now in place; we have defined our student profile and have strong enrollment numbers. Our budget is balanced and funding-raising for the Annual Fund, Learning Commons and student scholarships has generated a great deal of enthusiasm and early support.
Along the road to each of these successes there have also been some hurdles. The stress of this position is significant. Although I am in good health now, I know I need to restore a better balance in my life. By focusing on the year ahead and the transition to a new leader, I am able to begin that process now.
This is an exciting and positive time for the University. I look forward to the next year of my administration. With the support of our community, I intend to continue to do all I can to advance the mission of Saint John’s.
Fr. Bob Koopmann, OSB
Update: St. John’s spokesman Michael Hemmesch told me it’s too early to say what President Koopmann will do after he steps down, or whether he’ll be serving the university in any official capacity.