Meredith president to retire
Posted February 8, 2010 3:15 p.m. EST
Updated February 8, 2010 6:45 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Meredith College President Maureen A. Hartford announced Monday that she will retire next year.
The first woman president of Meredith, Hartford has led the Southeast's largest women's college since July 1999. She plans to leave the school in June 2011.
“I am more professionally, personally, and emotionally tied to Meredith than to any place in my life. It has been a joy to serve Meredith, especially Meredith students and alumnae," Hartford said in a statement. "I have no doubt that Meredith will continue to be a wonderful place for women to learn, work and grow into strong, confident, liberally-educated individuals.”
She said she announced her pending retirement more than a year in advance to give her time to develop Meredith’s next strategic plan, strengthen the college’s financial position and work on its re-accreditation.
Elizabeth Triplett Beam, chairwoman of Meredith's Board of Trustees, said a national search for Hartford's successor would begin in the fall.
During her tenure, Hartford has led efforts to strengthen Meredith’s academic offerings, expand campus facilities, improve student diversity and increase the college's endowment.
"Over the past 11 years, President Hartford has had a dramatic impact on the face of Meredith. Not only has she enhanced the physical look of the campus, she has also enhanced the look of the leadership at Meredith," Beam said in a statement. "Thanks to her, women have increasingly more opportunities to lead, guide and influence at Meredith, in their workplaces and communities.”
Prior to her arrival at Meredith, Hartford was vice president for student affairs at the University of Michigan. A native of Charlotte, she holds a bachelor's degree in French and a master's degree in college teaching from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Arkansas.