President Judy Hample announced yesterday that she will be leaving the University of Mary Washington as of June 30, 2010, after two years into her five-year contract as president.
Hample, the first female leader and eighth president of UMW, has been at the helm since July 1, 2008, after replacing William Frawley.
Now, the Board of Visitors has the task of looking for interim leadership.
In a UMW press release sent out yesterday, Hample said she was leaving to “pursue other interests in higher education.”
“I have especially enjoyed my opportunity to work with the talented faculty, gifted students, and dedicated alumni of Mary Washington,” Hample said in the release.
Hample has no further statement at this time, a university spokesman said.
The decision came after the BOV met in closed session for several hours yesterday, The Free Lance-Star reported.
Nanalou Sauder, rector of the BOV, said in the release, “On behalf of the Board of Visitors, I want to thank President Hample for her dedicated service to the University. She began the important process of charting the University’s future course, and she will be remembered for leading the institution through a time of transition.”
Hample’s unexpected resignation comes amid controversy over some of her recent actions.
Recently, the Division of State Internal Audit confirmed it had received a complaint about Hample’s purchase of $28,000 bookshelves for Brompton, the president’s home, as reported by The Free Lance-Star.
The allegations about Hample’s purchases come after the university denied Freedom of Information Act Requests for the police records related to Hample’s false report during the Sept. 30 safety walk.
Both The Bullet and The Free Lance-Star were denied the records, with the university citing them as evidence in a “criminal investigation.”
Judy Hample is the third president in four years at the university.
William Frawley, who became president in July 2006 after long-time President Bill Anderson retired, was fired in April 2007.
Executive Vice President Rick Hurley took over as acting president from 2007 to 2008 during the search for Frawley’s replacement.
When asked if his plans to retire this May would change because of Hample’s resignation, Hurley said, “I’m going to have to think about that.”
“My concern is the stability of the institution,” Hurley said. “I’m the one with the most institutional memory.”
Hurley said he did not know Hample’s reasons for leaving or who would fill the role of interim president.
The 2008 contract states Hample’s salary as $330,000 a year, with four weeks of paid vacation each year.
According to the contract, in the event that Hample resigns, she will not be entitled to any further compensation or benefits as president, and she must vacate Brompton within 30 days of her resignation.
Before coming to UMW, Hample was chancellor of Pennsylvania’s 14-campus public university system.
“The Board of Visitors will turn its attention to the selection of interim leadership and a timeline for recruiting a new president,” according to the release.
-Ryan Marr contributed to this report.