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Indiana State president stepping down next year

A shake up at Indiana State University in Terre Haute continued Friday with the school president’s announcement that he would step down when his contract expires next summer.

Lloyd Benjamin III told the school’s Board of Trustees he will leave office on June 30, 2008, after seven years as president.

The announcement comes a year after the ISU Faculty Senate voted to demand Benjamin’s immediate resignation after school trustees granted him a $25,000 pay raise.

Benjamin’s administration was seeking $4 million in budget cuts at the time to compensate for lagging enrollment and state funding. Several teaching and staff positions had been left unfilled because of budget troubles.

But questions remain for some over the 10,500-student school’s climate as other administrators prepare to depart, including the dean of the business school who will leave at the end of this month.

Virgil Sheets, a psychology professor at ISU and critic of Benjamin, said many among on the faculty have felt dismayed with the school’s direction under Benjamin’s leadership.

“The campus community has spoken to that issue multiple times,” Sheets said. “I respect and appreciate his decision that allows us to engage in an appropriate search and transition for a new leadership.”

Trustees President Mike Alley applauded Benjamin and said his leadership changed the role ISU played in the state’s higher-education environment.

“I don’t think you can underestimate his vision and effectiveness,” Alley said.

Kay Taylor, executive assistant to the president, said Benjamin was not available for a telephone interview after the board meeting.

A nationwide search for a new president will begin soon, school officials said.

Benjamin’s departure decision comes soon after new presidents have been named at Indiana and Purdue universities.

Michael McRobbie, a top administrator at Indiana for the past decade, will replace Adam Herbert as IU’s president on July 1. France Cordova, the chancellor of the University ofCalifornia-Riverside, will take over for Martin Jischke at Purdue on Aug. 1.

– Associated Press

California-Riverside, will take over for Martin Jischke at Purdue on Aug. 1.

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