President Osgood announces plans to step down in 2010
Message to Grinnell College Community
May 4, 2009
On Saturday morning, April 25th, I formally told the Board of Trustees and then this afternoon I announced to the faculty my intention to step down as President of Grinnell College effective July 31st 2010. This culminates a process that began on the Sunday after the October Board meeting last fall with a conversation between David White and me.
I want to say first how much I have loved and enjoyed being the Grinnell President. This is a wonderful and interesting college; diverse, intense, and educationally excellent. I have also enjoyed the community and the region. Running in cornfields on hot summer days with the birds careening about me is something I love.
I want to also thank all of the people who have supported me: Fred Little, Caroline Little, Nord Brue, Charley Bear, Dick Booth, Joe Rosenfield, the rest of the Trustees, and many faculty and staff friends, including David Clay, Marci Sortor, Jim Swartz, Ira Strauber, Susan Schoen, and Elizabeth Dobbs. I have also enjoyed tremendously the rich array of our alumni, whose loyalty is unmatched and whose achievements continuously reaffirm the College's strong reputation.
But I want to focus on what a special honor it has been to work with and interact with, even in moments of stress, our students and, in particular, the SGA leaders and my seminar students. They are fun, smart, and interesting; come in all temperaments; hold high expectations for themselves; and have noble aspirations for the world.
I don't want my valedictory here to be at all about me. As many of you know, I don't favor presidents serving too long and once I got past ten years as president, the question became when to leave. The question as to where I will go eventually has not ever been, by contrast, an open one. I plan along with my family and my dogs to return to Rockport. I left Rockport 40 years ago to join the Navy during the Vietnam War. I have spent some time there off and on in the years since but always with my eye to a challenging job. I am looking forward, after a transitional year of some teaching and tying up knots for Grinnell but not in Grinnell, to living in Rockport probably for the rest of my life.
I also have tremendous confidence in the future of Grinnell and look forward to coming here and also seeing some or even many of you in Rockport.
Russell K. Osgood