J. Timothy Cloyd to Step Down as Hendrix College President

J. Timothy Cloyd said Friday that he is stepping down as president of Hendrix College, a private college in Conway.

Cloyd, who has been president for 12 years, said in an email to college alumni that, in January 2014, he will return to the Hendrix faculty as a tenured full professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations and work as a consultant in fundraising and higher education.

The college said Cloyd will begin a sabbatical effective immediately. He made the announcement at the February meeting of the Hendrix board of trustees.

Cloyd, a former Hendrix vice president, became the school's 10th president in 2001. According to a news release, Hendrix alumnus W. Ellis Arnold III will be acting president during a national search for Cloyd’s successor. Arnold is the school's executive vice president, general counsel and dean of advancement.

While Cloyd was president, Hendrix grew by about 40 percent and completed a $100 million capital campaign, the largest in school history, that included the completion of The Village at Hendrix, a new urbanist community across from the main campus that includes new student housing.

Hendrix, a private liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church, has about 1,400 students. It is consistently regarded as one of the best small colleges in the U.S.

Cloyd described his decision as being part of the natural cycle.

"One thing I have learned is that organizations are living, evolving organisms," he said in a statement. "Twelve years is a reasonable time to run an organization and, during that time, Hendrix has assumed national leadership among private liberal arts colleges and has successfully completed a major capital campaign. The time is right to bring in fresh leadership to forge a new strategic direction for the college."

Hendrix board chairman and alumnus David Knight said Cloyd's leadership positioned the school as a "major innovator and nationally recognized leader in the field of engaged liberal arts education."

"President Cloyd’s leadership will always be synonymous with an era of unprecedented progress for the College," Arnold said.

Cloyd's Letter to Alumni

Serving as president of Hendrix College for the past twelve years has been one of the greatest joys of my life.  When I look across the campus and reflect on all of the lives transformed by this place, I know we have been blessed by God’s Grace and Presence. 

During that time, we have brought our motto Unto the Whole Person to life through the Odyssey program.  We are now positioned to build on that momentum to reach new horizons.

Here is one thing I have learned:  Organizations are living, evolving organisms.  That is why through prayer and deep reflection with my family, I have decided that it is time for new leadership.  Thus, I have informed the Board that I will not seek an additional term, but will step down from active service to a Presidential Sabbatical.  During this time I will write, consult, and explore other opportunities to put my gifts, talents, and experience to work. 

In January 2014, I intend to return to the Hendrix faculty in my role as a tenured full professor and work as a consultant in fundraising and higher education. (A release about this news is being issued to the media today and I have attached it here for your information.)

The Hendrix community has inspired me, encouraged me, criticized me in constructive ways, called me to account as a leader, and supported me.  All of this has been necessary to achieve the greatness Hendrix has enjoyed.  I am fully confident that the next president, with the support of this community, will take Hendrix to even greater heights.

God bless you all. 

J. Timothy Cloyd