President Charles Steger announced at 10:03 this morning that he will be stepping down as president of Virginia Tech next year.
The Board of Visitors has already begun the search for a new president, and President Steger will continue to serve as president until a successor has been found.
Steger has been President since January 7, 2000 and has led the university through the biggest expansion phase of the school's history. He also led the school through the April 16 shootings in 2007.
Steger will be giving the commencement speech to the Class of 2013 at Friday’s graduation ceremonies.
Here is the email that was sent out by University Relations to the student body today:
May 14, 2013
When one is totally absorbed in doing what one loves, fourteen years pass in an instant. Serving as president of this great university has been the most demanding and yet the most exhilarating and fulfilling experience of my life--from the exuberance at the beginning of the fall semester to the elation at commencement and every single day in between.
Each day, I am inspired and awed by your talent, creativity, and brilliance. You have embraced Ut Prosim and the Principles of Community. You set an example for the faculty, staff, and alumni with your solid commitment to service and strong spirit of community, which sets Virginia Tech apart.
I am thankful as well for our tremendous faculty and staff. Because of them, Virginia Tech is thriving despite the economic challenges that we continue to face. Together, we now have achieved most of the goals that I set out during my inauguration speech in 2000, and we also have seized opportunities as they arose to advance the strategic goals of the university. At all times, we have been guided by the overarching goal to provide our students with the highest quality educational experience--to awaken you to new opportunities and help you to discover your passion in life and acquire the skills and competencies to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
Today, I write to share with you my plans to step down as the 15th president of Virginia Tech. The Board of Visitors is beginning the search process, and I am confident that with the fine caliber of leadership on the board, they will select an individual well-suited to our unique organization. I will continue to serve as president until my successor begins work.
Years ago, I left a career in the private sector to pursue my passion for teaching and profound belief in the transformative power of education. This university and most importantly you--our students--have been my passion for more than four decades, and I have great optimism for the future. Virginia Tech is one of the nation's top universities and has a growing international reputation. The promise of this university eclipses all the challenges.
My wish for you is that when you graduate, you will have found your passion in life and that you will dare to pursue it. I have had that extraordinary opportunity. It has been an honor and a privilege to lead this dynamic university as its president.