Westminster President Forsythe announces retirement

Westminster College President Barney Forsythe (right) presents an award to a 50-year alumnus during the college's 2014 alumni weekend. Forsythe will retire from Westminster after the 2014-2015 academic year.

Westminster College President Barney Forsythe (right) presents an award to a 50-year alumnus during the college's 2014 alumni weekend. Forsythe will retire from Westminster after the 2014-2015 academic year. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

Westminster College President Barney Forsythe announced on Tuesday he will retire at the end of the 2014-15 school year.

Before becoming the college’s 20th president, Forsythe was the senior vice president and dean of faculty in 2005. He held the position until he served as acting president in October 2007 and later became president in February 2008.

He joined the Westminster College administration after 35 years commissioned service with the U.S. Army in the grade of Brigadier General.

Forsythe said he and his wife, Jane, have been thinking about retirement for some time. He added that the announcement’s timing allows the college to put a succession plan in place and be as “thoughtful and deliberate” in selecting a replacement.

Although not certain of the extent, Forsythe said he will collaborate with the board of trustees in seeking his successor and the subsequent transition.

Westminster will also complete a 10-year re-accreditation half way through the academic year, which Forsythe called a “good time for a presidential transition.”

“It’s a natural time to move on,” Forsythe said.

In his final year at Westminster, Forsythe said he is looking forward to implementing changes based on a market research study.

The study will finish at the end of May and gives the college insight on what employers are looking for in college graduates and the needs of current markets.

“This is a time that can be energizing for a community,” Forsythe said.

While president, Forsythe also spearheaded the Westminster’s Strategic Plan 2020.

“On behalf of the Westminster Board of Trustees, we sincerely appreciate President Forsythe’s decision to provide adequate time for a well-planned transition,” Wallace L. Head, chair of the board of trustees, said in a press release. “The Board of Trustees, the administrative structure of the College, and the entire Westminster team have become much stronger during his tenure. Dr. Forsythe’s especially strong relationship with the Board has helped Westminster achieve its goals, and the College is well positioned for further success in the years to come.

“Dr. Forsythe and Jane have had enormous impact on the entire Westminster community, and when they retire next year, they will be greatly missed.”

The Forsythes own a home in South Carolina and plan to move there after his retirement.

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