Moraga, Calif. (Sept. 21, 2004) -- Brother Craig J. Franz, FSC, has resigned as president of Saint Mary's College of California, effective on Jan. 1, 2005.
In a letter issued today to the Saint Mary's community, Franz said he believes the college will benefit from new leadership as it faces the challenges caused by the recent disclosure that $112 million in anticipated pledges will not come to fruition.
"In the weeks since we disclosed the unrealized pledges, it has become clear to me that evolving perceptions about my leadership would make it increasingly difficult for me to effectively inspire our alumni and others to support the college now and in the future," said Franz. "I am stepping aside now because my paramount interest is in seeing Saint Mary's move forward."
Nick Moore, chairman of the Saint Mary's College board of trustees, said he was "profoundly saddened" by Franz's decision to step down as president.
"I want you to know in the strongest possible terms that Brother Craig's resignation was neither requested nor anticipated," Moore said in a letter to the community. "The ongoing trustees' inquiry into the unrealized pledges has revealed nothing to date suggesting that Brother Craig or other college officials bear culpability for the lost pledges. Given that information, and knowing that some will nonetheless engage in speculation, it was especially difficult for trustees to accept Brother Craig's resignation."
A search for Franz's successor will begin as soon as a search committee of representatives from throughout the college community is formed, Moore said.
Franz became the 27th president of Saint Mary's College on July 1, 1997. Among the accomplishments of his tenure are overseeing a near tripling of the college's endowment fund, record student enrollments and capital improvements including Cassin Student Union, Chapel renovations, J.C. Gatehouse Hall and Syufy Hall for the Performing Arts. Franz advanced a set of strategic initiatives for the college known as The Next Steps, instituted the provost model of leadership, and implemented a new strategic vision for college athletics that included the discontinuation of football. Franz, 50, also serves as the president of the International Association of Lasallian Institutions of Higher Education, an organization of more than 60 colleges and universities run worldwide by the Christian Brothers.
* Letter from Brother Stanislaus Campbell, Visitor, District of San Francisco, and Nicholas Moore, Chair, Board of Trustees
* Letter from Brother Craig
* Letter from Nicholas Moore, Chairman, Board of Trustees
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* Franz A Man of Honor (Contra Costa Times Editorial)
* College President Resigns After $112-Million Pledge Evaporates (Chronicle of Higher Education)
* Fund-raising problems prompt St. Mary's president to quit (San Francisco Business Times)
* Saint Mary's president to resign (San Jose Mercury News - Associated Press Wire)
* College President to Quit Over Revoked Donation (Los Angeles Times)
* St. Mary's College president to quit Campus mired in funding controversy (San Francisco Chronicle)
* St. Mary's president steps down (Contra Costa Times)
* President of Saint Mary's resigns: Surprising many, Saint Mary's president submits resignation (Oakland Tribune)
* St. Mary's College President Steps Down (KTVU.com)
Saint Mary's College of California, founded in 1863, is a residential learning community based in the Catholic, Lasallian and liberal arts traditions. An outstanding faculty brings these traditions to life. The College enrolls 2,494 traditional undergraduates and more than 2,000 students in adult education and graduate programs. The Christian Brothers, the largest teaching order of the Roman Catholic Church, guides the academic growth and spiritual character of the school. Saint Mary's is located in Moraga, 20 miles east of San Francisco.