Courtesy Stevenson University
Courtesy Stevenson University

Dr. Kevin J. Manning, who has served as Stevenson University’s president for 16 years, will retire seven months earlier than he had originally planned, the school’s board of trustees announced today.

Manning had previously announced he intended to step down on June 30, 2017. However, according to a statement from university board chairman James B. Stradtner, Manning will be retiring effective today to “attend to some important but manageable health issues.”

When Dr. Manning took the helm as president of the Baltimore County institution, it wasn’t even known as Stevenson University, and it had far fewer students and programs than it does now. Under his leadership, the school changed its name from Villa Julie College to Stevenson University in 2008, launched a major fundraising drive, received a significant endowment boost and transformed itself from a small commuter college to a primarily residential campus. During his tenure, the school doubled its enrollment and created seven new schools within the university.

This year, Stevenson has nearly 4,200 enrolled undergraduate and graduate students and 523 faculty, 144 of whom are full-time, according to the school’s website.

“We could not have come so far without his leadership,” said Stradtner in his statement.

Before coming to Stevenson, Manning held administrative positions at Immaculata University in Pennsylvania, Elizabethtown College and Washington University in St. Louis.

In his absence, vice president of student affairs Claire Moore will service as interim president while the board continues its search for Manning’s replacement. Moore has worked for the university for more than 30 years.

According to the board’s statement, Manning will come back to campus in spring 2017 for several events marking his retirement, including a gala to raise money for a scholarship that he and his wife Sara are funding.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...