Over nearly a decade, Dr. Knapp "has set us on the right course—upward," board chair says
GW President Steven Knapp announced in June that he will not seek to renew his contract as president when it expires at the end of July 2017, after a decade at the helm. Dr. Knapp will continue to serve as president through the next academic year, during which the university will conduct a national search for his successor.
In a June 7 letter to the GW community, Dr. Knapp gave thanks to the many people with whom he has worked to advance the university’s academic mission.
"I cannot overstate my gratitude to the countless groups and individuals who, these past nine years, have done so much to ensure our collective success," Dr. Knapp said.
Dr. Knapp recalled that when he was offered the job, the Board of Trustees asked how long he would expect to serve in the role. Ten years seemed right, he told the board.
"A shorter tenure," he wrote, "would make it hard to carry important projects through to their conclusion; a longer one would deprive the institution of an opportunity to consider fresh ideas and approaches, which are especially valuable in an era of rapid change like the one we are now experiencing across the whole landscape of higher education."
I cannot overstate my gratitude to the countless groups and individuals who, these past nine years, have done so much to ensure our collective success," Dr. Knapp said.
Dr. Knapp became the 16th president of the university in August 2007. His priorities included enhancing the university’s partnerships with neighboring institutions, expanding the scope of its research, strengthening its worldwide community of alumni, enlarging its students’ opportunities for public service and leading its transformation into a model of urban sustainability.
"The work of my final year as president is clearly defined," Dr. Knapp wrote. "I will concentrate on supporting the deans as we rapidly approach the conclusion of our $1 billion ‘Making History’ campaign. I will continue to focus on building our worldwide and lifelong community of GW alumni. And I will seek new ways to make good on the university’s promise to ensure that every student we enroll has the fullest possible opportunity to succeed so that he or she can go forth from the university fully prepared to change the world."
Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Carbonell, BS ’85, praised Dr. Knapp’s contributions and emphasized "I cannot overstate my gratitude to the countless groups and individuals who, these past nine years, have done so much to ensure our collective success," Dr. Knapp said. that the next president will build on a strong foundation.
"Steve’s commitment to growing research, academic excellence and diversity has made GW a vastly different and better place than when I was a student," Mr. Carbonell says. "As we prepare for the beginning of the university’s third century in 2021, Steve has set us on the right course—upward."
Read the full text of Dr. Knapp's letter and highlights of his tenure at GW Today