| Larry Shinn, Berea College President, Plans Retirement
Berea College President Dr. Larry D. Shinn announced today that he will be retiring from the college, effective June 30, 2012. Berea’s 8th president, Dr. Shinn has served in this capacity since 1994. In a letter to trustees, faculty, staff and students, Shinn stated that, with the college emerging strongly from the challenges of the Great Recession, it is a good time for Berea to begin the process of a leadership transition.
President Larry D. Shinn
The combined efforts of Berea’s faculty, staff, administrators, trustees and other stakeholders have, over the span of the past 17 years, resulted in dramatic progress at the college. Enrollment of African American students has increased from 6% to 18% while service to the Appalachian region has been expanded. Retention and graduation rates have improved more than 30% while new program initiatives have enhanced educational quality. The college has successfully completed more than $140 million in sustainable building renovations, and in 2005 a $150 million sesquicentennial campaign exceeded its goal. In response to the financial crisis of 2008-09, the college has embraced a bold and creative vision for carrying out its historic mission in a rapidly changing world. Dr. Shinn noted that Berea is a stronger and more resilient institution today that has greater capacity to address future opportunities and challenges.
President Shinn indicated that while he and his wife Nancy are looking forward to extended time with their children and grandchildren during their pending retirement, he cited a number of challenging initiatives that Berea must engage over the next fifteen months, including the transition from academic departments to divisions, development of the college’s new Center for Transformative Learning, and “deep green” science and residence hall projects.
Dr. David E. Shelton, chairman of the Berea College board of trustees, commented: “President Shinn’s unique blend of academic and leadership skills passionately applied to Berea’s mission, in partnership with the entire college community, has produced outstanding results. Berea is well-positioned for the future and we look forward to the unfolding of a number of new developments and opportunities during Larry’s remaining tenure as president. Dr. Shinn’s extraordinary abilities, personal commitment and strong work ethic have set the example for the next generation of presidential leadership at Berea. The board of trustees is grateful to Larry and Nancy for their extraordinary service to the college. We will begin a national search later this spring for Dr. Shinn’s successor.”
Read Larry's letter to campus.