Trustees of a Richmond college are starting to seek the campus’ next leader.
Earlham’s 20th president Anne Houtman announced that she’s retiring at the end of the 2023-24 academic year.
“Serving as Earlham’s president has been the most significant honor and joy of my career,” Houtman said in a letter to Earlham stakeholders that was shared with media Oct. 16.
Houtman said she plans to remain in the area during retirement and resume scholarly projects she put on hold when she assumed the presidency in 2019.
She had previously worked in administration at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology after several roles in science education.
“I feel very proud of all that we have accomplished at Earlham, and am confident that Earlham is in a better place now than when I arrived,” Houtman wrote. “I am certain that Earlham will be able to bring in a very strong 21st president in large measure because of all the hard work we have accomplished together over these years.”
Houtman’s tenure included the launch of the “For Good” campaign, which has raised nearly $85 million to support the college’s priorities, including Epic Journey, the campus’ signature student success program.
Through Epic, students can participate in funded internships, research experiences and off-campus study, the release said. Additional international travel and career-discernment opportunities for student-athletes and first-generation students are also features of the program.
During Houtman’s presidency, Earlham also has expanded its curriculum by launching new majors in accounting and engineering, data science, social services, creative writing, public policy, media and communications, and four new concentrations in computer science.
New scholarships and degree pathways also were established to support enrollment of students living within a 150-mile radius of campus. They include the INspire Earlham program, a tuition waiver for Indiana students from low- and moderate-income backgrounds, and a transfer agreement for graduates of Ivy Tech Community College.
“We are grateful that Anne will leave the College in a better place than she found it, with a solid and clearly articulated plan to move the College forward,” said Tom Thornburg, chair of the Earlham Board of Trustees, in the news release. “We know she, her leadership team, and the Earlham community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni will work hard toward the goals Anne has set out for Earlham in her remaining nine months at Earlham.”
Before Houtman came to Richmond, Avis Stewart served as interim president from 2018-2019 after the one-year presidency of Alan Price. Price replaced David Dawson, who served from 2011-2017.
A version of this article appeared in the October 25 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.