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St. Mary’s College of Maryland statement on President Joseph Urgo’s departure

The St. Mary’s College Board of Trustees announced on Tuesday that President Joseph R. Urgo requested that the board not renew his employment contract, which expires at the end of the month. Here is the statement that the board released:

After three years as president of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Dr. Joseph Urgo has decided, for personal and professional reasons, to move on in his career. Dr. Urgo has requested that the Board of Trustees not renew his contract.

“I leave with mixed emotions because I have enjoyed my time so much at St. Mary’s College,” said Dr. Urgo. “Leading St. Mary’s College for the past three years has been a tremendous privilege and a great pleasure. The college’s legislative charge of high academic standards and financial accessibility, while challenging, is an inspirational mission. In parting, I wish my friends and the good people of St. Mary’s the very best. ”

During Dr. Urgo’s three years in office, the college endowment grew by nearly 30% and the college received two $1M gifts earmarked for need-based financial aid, and an additional $1M gift for academic programs. The college received additional state support through legislation that will fund a two-year tuition freeze and secured a performance-based funding project aimed at raising college retention and graduation rates. In all, the legislation amounts to a 14% increase in state funding for the college and the first legislated increase to the block grant since that method of funding was established in 1992.

Throughout his tenure as president, Dr. Urgo has supported broad access to education in the liberal arts and sciences, speaking and writing often on St. Mary’s public mission. Joe and Lesley Urgo have been strong advocates for the natural beauty of the campus and under Lesley’s volunteer efforts, established the college arboretum.

The Board is grateful for Dr. Urgo’s commitment to St. Mary’s College of Maryland and his advocacy for liberal arts education. The Board wishes Dr. Urgo well in his future endeavors.

Jenna Johnson is a political reporter who is covering the 2016 presidential campaign.

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