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Tuesday, June 7, 2016 3:39 p.m.

Knapp announces final year as University president

University President Steven Knapp announced this academic year will be his last as president. Hatchet file photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

University President Steven Knapp announced this academic year will be his last as president. Hatchet file photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

This post was written by Hatchet editors Ellie Smith, Jacqueline Thomsen and Sera Royal.

Updated: June 7, 2016 at 6:03 p.m.

University President Steven Knapp will leave GW at the end of July 2017, he announced in an email to students, staff and faculty Tuesday afternoon.

Knapp, who came to GW in 2007, said that he will not seek to renew his second five-year contract. He will continue to serve as University president through the upcoming academic year.

“I cannot overstate my gratitude to the countless groups and individuals who, these past nine years, have done so much to ensure our collective success,” Knapp said in the release.

The Board of Trustees will announce their plan for a search for the next University president in “the coming weeks,” according to the release.

The University has faced budgetary struggles due to dips in graduate enrollment, and Knapp announced 5 percent budget cuts across all departments last March. And in December, he announced central administrative units will need to cut 3 to 5 percent of their budgets until 2021.

Knapp, 64, helped launch GW’s $1 billion fundraising campaign in 2014, which is set to end in June 2018.

After coming to GW, Knapp sought to raise the University’s research profile, hiring a vice president for research and focusing efforts on ways to bring in more research dollars. He also oversaw the construction of the $275 million Science and Engineering Hall, which opened in 2015.

 

Knapp worked to improve GW’s sustainability efforts, adding LEED certifications to 11 buildings since his arrival.

Knapp also oversaw the formation of GW’s School of Nursing in 2010 and hired deans for all of GW’s undergraduate and graduate schools. These hires have included Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Dean Ben Vinson, Elliott School of International Affairs Dean Reuben Brigety and GW Law School Dean Blake Morant.

Nelson Carbonell, the chair of the Board of Trustees, said the decision to hire Knapp nearly a decade ago was “transformational.”

“He has served ably with integrity and foresight and has forever changed the university’s trajectory,” Carbonell said in the release.

We will continue to update this post.

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