After much heated debate during the past eight to 10 months by students, faculty members and staff, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology President John J. Midgley resigned at the college's board of trustees' meeting in Indianapolis on Saturday, June 11.
Midgley, who left the corporate world to become the 12th president at the prestigious college a little more than a year ago, on July 1, 2004, was at the center of a controversy regarding his leadership style, which was considered dismissive and disrespectful by many at the college.
Quietly complaining among themselves at first, soon the opinion of faculty and staff members, along with the governing body of the students, spilled over this spring.
In May of this year, the faculty, administrative staff and governing student groups returned no-confidence votes on Midgley. The normally quiet college community organized and held a rally on the campus to bring the their concerns to light.
The announcement of Midgley's resignation by RHIT Chairman Robert Bright came in the form of an e-mail delivered to the campus on Sunday morning. It did not address the reasons for the resignation, but pointed out the good points of Midgley's term as president while wishing him well in his future endeavors.
Bright's statement read, "We are very grateful for his accomplishments during his tenure which include:
- The creation of a 2005-06 budget that includes the lowest tuition increase in 10 years, the hiring of six new faculty members and the largest allocation to the Dean's equipment fund.
- The launch of the Rose-Hulman 2015 project to plan the long range future of the institute.
- Funding from the Lilly Endowment to create junior faculty incentive grants and continued support for the Homework Hotline.
- Refocusing of the Ventures program toward its core academic mission.
- Long-term agreement with the Indianapolis Colts and the creation of the Colts Minority Science and Engineering Scholarships.
According to the bylaws of the RHIT Board of Trustees, as the Board's Chairman, Bright will serve as the corporate executive officer until a new interim president is appointed, which will occur as soon as is practical.
The press release stated that the board is committed to working in a renewed fashion withthe administration and the campus community in their respective roles, while closely monitoring progress toward unifying campus relationships, performance in our respective duties, and institutional progress toward Rose-Hulman 2015