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Earlham College president Douglas Bennett announces plans to retire

Earlham College
August 4, 2010
Earlham President Douglas C. Bennett announced this morning that he intends to retire at the end of June 2011. Bennett has been president since 1997.

In a letter sent to the Earlham community he noted, "I often say that I have the perfect job for me. No better could be imagined: to be a Quaker and an educator entrusted with leadership of this extraordinary Quaker college and seminary. I am grateful to have had this opportunity, but it is now time to pass it to someone else, and for me to embrace other challenges."

"We will certainly miss Doug's leadership," said Deborah Hull, chairperson of Earlham's Board of Trustees, "but we are very grateful for all he has done for the College."

One of American higher education's most distinctive voices, Bennett, 64, has been prominently featured in numerous national publications during his tenure at Earlham. He prominently led the national charge against the ranking of colleges and universities and has often written and spoken passionately on the topics of student assessment, engagement, accessibility and affordability issues, to name a few.

Bennett also served on numerous prominent national boards during his tenure at Earlham. He is the past chair of the board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), a member of the board — and former chair — of the national advisory board for the National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE), a board member of the Council for Aid to Education (CAE), and a member of the advisory panel of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).

Immediately prior to becoming Earlham's president, Bennett was Vice President of the American Council of Learned Societies. He has also served as Vice President and Provost of Reed College and as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Temple University, where he was a member of the faculty for 18 years.

In his letter to the Earlham community, Bennett noted that the College's comprehensive campaign will come to a close in 2011 and that he promised the Earlham Board before the campaign began that he would remain at the College until the campaign concluded.

"Doug has greatly expanded Earlham's visibility at the national level and has been instrumental in helping the College raise more money in a capital campaign than it has ever done before," said Hull.

Bennett says that he will "work as hard as I can to see that this campaign fully achieves its goals."
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