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Reinhardt University President to Step Down

Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood plans to retire in 2015 from the post he's held for over 10 years.

Reinhardt University President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood has announced his retirement.

Isherwood said he plans to retire on June 30, 2015, after serving the college for more than 10 years. 

Isherwood informed Reinhardt's Board of Trustees of his decision via email. 

"I am very proud of the work we have done together, and I will always be thankful that you have given me the opportunity to serve you and our students," he said. "Next year will be my 13th at Reinhardt, and I believe it is a good time for
change. In 2015 we will be completing our second meaningful five-year plan, and I believe the University is in a positive position for even more success. I am very confident that the announcement of this leadership opportunity will draw interest from excellent and qualified people across the United States.”

Isherwood was chosen by the board of trustees on April 2, 2002, to serve as the college's 19th president. He officially took over as president on July 1, 2002.

Isherwood said the search for his replacement could easily be a year-long process, which is why he decided to announce his retirement more than a year before it becomes effective. 

"The search for new leadership is one of the most exciting times in the life of an
institution," he added. "I want to give the board full advantage of an early announcement so that they have time to engage the entire Reinhardt community in this process. I am confident that the trustees will exercise this responsibility with wisdom and grace."

Under Isherwood's tenure, the Waleska-based institution saw its student body grow from 1,083 to 1,402, its fundraising efforts rake in just over $42 million and the construction or renovation of at least 20 buildings.

The college also expanded its academic program offerings from 17 to 41, saw its number of full-time faculty members grow from 54 to 80 and its intercollegiate sports programs rise rom 10 to 17. 

Graduate degrees, online programs and a Police Academy have been added, and in 2010, the institution name was changed from Reinhardt College to Reinhardt University.

Board of Trustee Chair Billy Hasty commended Isherwood for his tenure as president. 

"Tom Isherwood has been a focused and effective leader for Reinhardt," he said. "During his tenure, even though the economy has made success very difficult to achieve for small private institutions of higher education, Reinhardt has enjoyed
increased enrollment, program expansion and loyal financial support. I look forward to continuing this positive momentum as we prepare for a change in senior leadership."

Isherwood and wife Bettye Jo live in Big Canoe, and they plan to remain in the area. 

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