University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala announced Monday morning that she will be stepping down from her position at the end of the 2014-2015 school year in a Dialogue email to the university community.
“A long time ago a friend advised me to always leave a job when you still love it,” Shalala wrote. “That is certainly the case here.”
According to a university press release, she plans to return to the faculty as a professor of political science and health policy.
Richard D. Fain, chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises, will chair the Presidential Search Committee that will appoint Shalala’s successor, according to Stuart A. Miller, chair of the University of Miami Board of Trustees.
“This will be an inclusive process and will seek valuable input from the greater University of Miami community,” Miller wrote in a statement sent to the university community.
Shalala, who previously served as Secretary of Health and Human Services under former President Bill Clinton, said that one of the best aspects of her job as UM president has been living in Miami.
“This great community is maddening, delightful and limitless in its vitality and promise,” she wrote. “We have worked hard to be good neighbors and civic leaders.”
Senior Hila Sachs noted the great strides made by the university under Shalala’s leadership and believes it will continue throughout the school year.
“I’m surprised and I’m really upset that she’s going to be leaving us,” said Sachs, a member of the President’s 100 organization. “She made the school what it is today and I feel bad for the freshmen that just came in because they wont have the same great experience that I did. I think she’ll still be extremely committed and I think she’s going to make this year the greatest yet.”