Hendrix College President Ellis Arnold announced Tuesday (May 17) he will retire at the end of the next academic year.
Arnold, a 1979 graduate of the school, has served as president of the Conway-based college since 2019.
In a letter to the staff and students, Arnold said:
“As we conclude this academic year, I would like to share my plans for the future. After more than three decades in educational leadership roles, including more than 17 years as a President, I will retire as President in June 2023. While this decision has been difficult, I am honored and humbled for the opportunity to lead the institution that has shaped my life in so many ways.
“When I was asked in November 2019 to serve as President, I shared with the Board that, if I served, there were urgent issues that I wanted to address. Change was required both in our approach to financial matters and to campus climate, and it was important that we raise our sights for the future. I shared with the Board that I saw my role to be both a bridge and a catalyst for the next wave of strategic initiatives and progress.
“My responsibility has been to lead Hendrix forward with confidence, determination, and optimism for the future. I am proud of what we have accomplished together, from our bold decision to launch a Tuition Reset to experiencing record new student application growth to passing a multi-year employee compensation plan and securing a quasi-endowment gift to support it to the opening of two restored historic residence halls this summer to the completion of a historic fundraising campaign later this fall. Together, we capitalized on opportunities and confronted challenges with confidence and determination, emerging stronger and strategically positioned for the next decade.
“Hendrix is now poised for a new era of leadership in engaged learning and liberal arts education. This next era will be built upon a new strategic planning process that is bold, creative, innovative, and distinct to Hendrix, and it must be supported and led by the next President who is committed to working alongside every member of our community.”
A national presidential search will begin at the start of the 2022-2023 academic year.