ALLENDALE — Grand Valley State University President Tom Haas plans to retire in mid 2019.
Haas, GVSU’s president since 2006, said in an announcement that he wanted to give GVSU plenty of time to search for a successor. He’ll depart as president June 30, 2019, and continue at GVSU as a chemistry professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
“It’s the right time to announce my retirement, but let me assure everyone, I’m as excited to come to work at Grand Valley as I’ve ever been,” Haas said. “I can see that there will be another chapter in my life, but it won’t start for another year-and-a-half. The university has amazing momentum right now. We’re expanding our health campus on Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile; we’re expanding our engineering programs into new space downtown; we have renewed energy to work on enrollment and retention as the challenges in higher education grow.”
The 66-year-old Haas is a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., and earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Connecticut.
During his time as president, GVSU has added 30 undergraduate programs and 16 graduate programs, opened the Detroit Center and developed 2.5 million square feet of new facilities.
“President Haas brought his wonderful mix of experiences to Grand Valley a dozen years ago, and the university has prospered under his leadership,” GVSU Board of Trustees Chair John Kennedy. “His respect for planning and public-private partnerships has created stability within the university and trustworthiness within the larger region. We recognize the challenge in front of us to find the next right president for Grand Valley, and look forward to capitalizing on Tom’s leadership as he finishes his successful tenure here.”
The GVSU board serves as the search committee for the next president. Kennedy will chair the search committee. The board also will form an advisory committee with four trustees and 11 others from GVSU faculty and staff, plus representatives from the Student Senate, alumni and the general public.