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Reinhardt President to leave University

Isherwood

On March 18, 2014, Reinhardt’s 19th president, Dr. J. Thomas
Isherwood, announced he would be leaving the University on June 30,
2015. He was selected as Reinhardt’s president by the institution’s

Board of Trustees on April 2, 2002, and he had served in the office
since July 1, 2002. 

After discussing his decision with the Executive Committee of
Reinhardt’s Board of Trustees, he informed the entire board, as well
as faculty and staff, via email.  “I am very proud of the work we have
done together, and I will always be thankful that you have given me the
opportunity to serve you and our students,” he said.  “Next year
will be my 13th at Reinhardt, and I believe it is a good time for
change.  In 2015 we will be completing our second meaningful five-year
plan, and I believe the University is in a positive position for even
more success.  I am very confident that the announcement of this
leadership opportunity will draw interest from excellent and qualified
people across the United States.”

Board of Trustee Chair William G. Hasty, Jr. commended Isherwood for
the job he has done as president. “Tom Isherwood has been a focused
and effective leader for Reinhardt,” Hasty said. “During his tenure,
even though the economy has made success very difficult to achieve for
small private institutions of higher education, Reinhardt has enjoyed
increased enrollment, program expansion and loyal financial support. I
look forward to continuing this positive momentum as we prepare for a
change in senior leadership.”

A presidential search is often a year-long process, which was part of
Isherwood’s rationale for an early announcement. “The search for new
leadership is one of the most exciting times in the life of an
institution,” Isherwood said. “I want to give the Board full
advantage of an early announcement so that they have time to engage the
entire Reinhardt community in this process.  I am confident that the
trustees will exercise this responsibility with wisdom and grace.”

Since Isherwood’s arrival, Reinhardt has experienced much growth.
Reinhardt’s student body has grown from 1083 to 1402, fund raising has
brought in approximately $42.7 million, and at least 20 buildings or
facilities have been built or significantly renovated.  Academic program
offerings have expanded from 17 to 41, the number of full-time faculty
has grown from 54 to 80, and the number of intercollegiate sports has
grown from 10 to 17.  Graduate degree, online programs and a Police
Academy have been added, and in 2010, the institution name was changed
from Reinhardt College to Reinhardt University.

“When I arrived, Reinhardt did not yet have the program diversity we
needed,” Isherwood said. “Our program growth, as well as our
offerings for working adults and graduate students, was prompted by
faculty creativity and hard work. As we have added faculty, we have
looked for caring instructors with solid credentials, creativity and
experience -- professionals who emphasize a commitment to teaching,
mentoring, community service and scholarship.  We also invested in the
performing arts, athletics and the sciences.  Our fund raising successes
have made all this expansion possible.”

Isherwood doesn’t like the word “retire” and doesn’t plan to
coast during his remaining months as Reinhardt president.  Isherwood and
his wife, Bettye Jo, have a home in Big Canoe, Ga., and they plan to
remain in the area.  “We will continue to be involved in our
community,” he said.  “We have made wonderful friends and have found
Big Canoe to be an exciting and welcoming place to live.”

In his email to faculty and staff he stated, “While we will have time
in the next year to reminisce, we will also have a great and busy year
as we together prepare the University for the future.  I have been
humbled and honored to be president of this wonderful place and to serve
with you.  I plan to leave with energy and enthusiasm.”

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