American University president stepping down

Updated: March 28, 2016 at 1:24 p.m.

Neil Kerwin, the president of American University, will step down at the end of the next academic year.

Kerwin announced his departure in a memo to the American community this morning, saying May 30, 2017 will mark the last day of his contract and his 12-year run as president.

“I have informed the Board of Trustees that on that date, I will step down as president,” he said in the memo. “I do so filled with well-founded optimism for the future of our institution and excitement at the prospect of a new stage of my life and career.”

Kerwin said in the memo that the timing of his departure coincides with the final year of American’s strategic plan, putting the university in a good position to find a successor. American’s Board of Trustees will announce plans next week to find the university’s fifteenth president.

This announcement comes one year after a federal investigation was launched into AU’s handling of sexual violence cases and the university’s compliance with Title IX laws.

Earlier this month, Kerwin announced a five-part plan to address diversity and inclusion on American’s campus, The Eagle reported.

“I will focus on the ongoing implementation of our strategic plan and important recent initiatives, including our plan for greater diversity and inclusion and ensuring that our campus is safe and responsive to complaints of sexual assault,” Kerwin said in the memo.

Kerwin said that after leaving his role as president, he will take a sabbatical leave before returning to be on faculty.

This post was updated to reflect the following corrections:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that a Title IX investigation into American University was launched less then two weeks ago, the investigation was actually launched one year ago. We regret this error.

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