The last few weeks have brought a string of presidential departures across higher education, a trend that continues this week.
Sonya Williams, chancellor of the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, resigned in a special meeting on Tuesday night for personal reasons, according to The Quad City Times. Williams was hired to oversee the three-campus system last year, formally stepping into the job in August. She lasted only a year in the role.
Mary K. Boyd, president of Emmanuel College, also stepped down in recent days, according to a Wednesday news release. The announcement indicated that her resignation was effective July 31—two days before the statement was issued—and cited “personal reasons” as the cause for her departure. Boyd had been at the Roman Catholic college in Boston for slightly over a year.
The news of both resignations comes amid a wave of leaders resigning across the sector in recent weeks, many of whom were trailed by various controversies. Resignations since late July include: Charles Ambrose at Henderson State University, Dr. Mark Tykocinski at Thomas Jefferson University, Erica Muhl at Berklee College of Music, Joseph Nyre at Seton Hall University, Kathy Banks at Texas A&M University and Marc Tessier-Lavigne at Stanford University. Of those leaders, only Tessier-Lavigne had served for more than five years.
Surging presidential resignations this summer underscore a finding in the latest American College President Study from the American Council on Education that indicates presidential terms are getting shorter. Respondents to the latest survey served an average of 5.9 years.