Transylvania President Owen Williams To Resign Amid Controversy Over Tenure Decisions, Leadership

Jun 17, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The president of Transylvania University has announced he is stepping down after the upcoming school year. The move comes in the wake of student protests and a vote of “no confidence” in his leadership by the faculty.

Credit photo provided

Despite retaining the support of the school’s Board of Trustees, President Owen Williams announced Monday he plans to resign from the post at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

Williams became president in August 2010, after a national search to find a successor for Charles Shearer, who served as president at the university for 27 years. During his tenure at Transylvania, Williams launched an ambitious strategic plan dubbed Transylvania 2020, a comprehensive roadmap for the school’s future growth.

In recent months, however, faculty and student discontent with his leadership style, which some characterized as unilateral and unresponsive, bubbled over into a public protest and a letter by faculty calling for his resignation.

A search for Williams’ replacement will begin later this year.