Occidental College President Dr. Harry J. Elam Jr. will end his tenure early due to a recent diagnosis of neuro-degenerative illness Parkinson’s disease, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“Please know that I am doing well, with excellent medical care and a strong support system,” Elam said in a letter to the campus community. “But in order to prioritize my health and time with family, I have made the difficult decision not to serve the final (2024-25) year of my five-year term as President.”
Elam stepped into the role in 2020. Before taking the helm, he was vice provost of undergraduate education at Stanford University.
Recently, the president had announced the end to Occidental’s legacy-based admissions after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the use of affirmative action.
“I look forward to our partnership in this final year as President Elam begins implementation of the Occidental Promise and sets the stage for the next president to continue,” said Lisa Link, chair of the Occidental board of trustees.