JMU president to step down in 2012

By Daniel de Vise
Thursday, December 9, 2010; 1:22 PM

Linwood H. Rose, president of James Madison University, announced Wednesday that he will step down in June 2012.

Rose has served since 1998, making him one of the longer-serving presidents in the area. He is -- amazingly -- only the fifth president at JMU since its founding in 1908.

This is Rose's legacy:

Though technically a second-tier public university (in a state with two of the very best public universities in the nation), JMU is, in many ways, a star performer. Its graduation rate is 82 percent, equal to that of the University of Maryland. The university is a second-choice school for many behind the University of Virginia and College of William and Mary, but faculty say those students are an increasingly smart and well-prepared group.

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks JMU top in its class of Southern master's universities. The school has been repeatedly cited as a top value among four-year colleges.

A biographical page on the JMU web site says Rose began at the university in 1975, and "his assignments have included responsibilities in every division of the University." He has been there continuously since, except for a stint in the 1980s as deputy Virginia secretary of education.

"When I accepted this job, I said that it was the best university presidency in the country," Rose said in remarks to the university community Wednesday. "I meant it then and I still feel the same way."

From the bio: Rose was born in Daytona Beach, Fla., grew up in Staunton, earned a bachelor's in economics from Virginia Tech, a master's in educational administration and supervision from the University of Tennessee, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Virginia.

Here is part of a statement read Wednesday by James Hartman, rector of the JMU Board of Visitors:

"In the "Rose Years," if I may call them that, most every aspect of the university has been improved and/or expanded. In twelve short years over twenty-five buildings have been constructed, over 2.4 million square feet have been added to the footprint of the university, over twenty new academic programs have been initiated, a Phi Beta Kappa chapter has been established, the budget has more than doubled, enrollment has grown by 37% to 19,400 and the first capital campaign was successfully conducted."

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