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Bradley University President Stephen Standifird announces resignation

Bradley University President Stephen Standifird delivers his second annual State of the University address at the Dingeldine Music Center on Oct. 3, 2022.
Tim Shelley
/
WCBU
Bradley University President Stephen Standifird delivers his second annual State of the University address at the Dingeldine Music Center on Oct. 3, 2022.

Bradley University President Stephen Standifird is resigning.

Standifird announced the decision in an email to the Bradley campus community Friday morning. In it, he calls the decision “incredibly challenging,” but says it is the “right one for me and the institution at this time.”

The statement adds the resignation is effective June 15, with current Bradley Board of Trustees Chair Jonathan Michael filling in as interim president in the meantime.

“Together, we have navigated numerous challenges and celebrated many successes,” writes Standifird. “I am deeply proud of the progress we have made these past four years.”

Standifird lists accomplishments like making a more inclusive campus, introducing new programs and the creation of the “5G Digitally Connected Campus.”

The announcement also follows a tumultuous year at the Peoria university. Controversial budget cuts finalized in Dec. 2023 eliminated a total of 61 academic positions. The cuts drew criticism from the Bradley University's American Association of University Professors chapter, a vote of no confidence from Bradley's University Senate for both Standifird and Provost Walter Zakahi and on-campus student protests.

Provost Zakahi announced his retirement earlier this year.

“The Board of Trustees and I agree, the future of Bradley is very bright, because of the commitment you and others demonstrate to its work every day,” said Standifird to sign off the resignation email.

A statement released by Bradley University says the Board of Trustees is starting a search for a new president, enlisting the help of a "nationally recognized search firm."

Standifird was Bradley's 12th president since its founding in 1898. He succeeded Gary Roberts in 2020.

Collin Schopp is a reporter at WCBU. He joined the station in 2022.