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University of Richmond President Stepping Down 

Ed Ayers says he will stay on as a faculty member.

click to enlarge University of Richmond President Ed Ayers is stepping down to join the faculty and focus on other projects, he announced today.

Ash Daniel

University of Richmond President Ed Ayers is stepping down to join the faculty and focus on other projects, he announced today.

The University of Richmond will launch a search for a president in the coming academic year, it announced today, with Ed Ayers stepping down to join the faculty.

In a letter to the University of Richmond community, Ayers noted that his strategic plan and Fulfilling the Promise campaign was drawing to a close: “As I reflect on all that we have accomplished together, I have decided that these culminations provide a natural conclusion to my term as president,” he wrote. “Next year is a fitting one for a university transition as we finish important work.”

A Civil War scholar, Ayers recently became founding chair of the American Civil War Museum. He was ranked No. 14 on Style Weekly's 2013 Power List.

The university's announcement included a statement from Charles A. Ledsinger Jr., rector of the university’s Board of Trustees:

“The university is stronger today by every possible measure—in academic excellence, fiscal health, national and international reputation, and accessibility—because of President Ayers’ thoughtful leadership and vision. As you can imagine, the board accepted his decision with disappointment, but also with deep gratitude for his outstanding leadership over the past seven years.”

A year after Ayers' tenure began, Style Weekly featured him in this cover story: "The Past and Future According to Ed Ayers: One year since becoming president of the University of Richmond, the man hired to make everything better turns to history for inspiration."

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