The university released a statement Monday morning saying that Herbst, who has led the university since 2011, will step down next summer when her current employment agreement ends.
“Being able to lead this outstanding institution has been one of the great honors and privileges of my life,” she said in a message to the UConn community. “These have been exciting and rewarding years. UConn has continued to rise in the rankings and grow academically as we embarked on transformational new initiatives, formed vital partnerships, addressed long-standing needs, planned carefully for the future, and made difficult but necessary decisions."
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Herbst was the first woman to be president of UConn since the school was founded in 1881, according to a statement from UConn. She was named UConn’s 15th president on Dec 20, 2010.
“Despite financial struggles because of the state budget, together we have become a stronger, better university,” she said. “UConn is among the finest research universities in the United States and the pride of the state of Connecticut, as it should be.”
The board extended Herbst’s original five-year employment agreement in 2014 to run through July 1, 2019.
She said in a letter to the UConn community that she will return to the classroom as a professor of political science at UConn's Stamford campus.
“Stepping down was not an easy decision for me by any means,” Herbst said in a statement. “But a university is forever and each of us knows that we are only its temporary caretakers and champions. None of us are indispensable and the right time for a change always arrives eventually.”
UConn Board Chairman Thomas Kruger said he will appoint a committee this summer to start a national search for the next president.