The longtime Hendrix College president will step down and eventually return to being a professor at the college, spokesman Rob O’Connor said Friday.

J. Timothy Cloyd will leave his position effective immediately, according to a news release. Cloyd earned a base pay of about $314,000 a year, according to the college’s 2010 tax form.

"Here is one thing I have learned: Organizations are living, evolving organisms," Cloyd wrote in email. "That is why through prayer and deep reflection with my family, I have decided that it is time for new leadership."

Hendrix has just finished a major fundraising campaign so the timing for Cloyd stepping down ushers in a new period of planning at Hendrix, officials said.

Cloyd served as president of the private college for 12 years. He announced his decision to resign during the Board of Trustees meeting. After a sabbatical that starts immediately, Cloyd will return to the Hendrix faculty as a professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations next January and work in higher education consulting. During his sabbatical, Cloyd said in email he plans to "write, consult and explore other opportunities."

Cloyd became the 10th president of Hendrix, a private college with a 1,388 enrollment, in October 2001 after serving as vice president for College Relations and Development for five years. Cloyd is 51.

During Cloyd’s presidential tenure, the college launched Your Hendrix Odyssey: Engaging in Active Learning. The program brought significant national recognition to Hendrix as a national model for engaged learning in higher education, according to the release. As a result of Odyssey, Hendrix received national media attention, including being featured on the front page of the New York Times and named one of the country’s "Up and Coming" liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report for five consecutive years.

Also during Cloyd’s tenure, the Hendrix student body and faculty grew by almost 40 percent, and Hendrix successfully completed a $100 million comprehensive campaign — the largest in the school’s history. The campaign helped Hendrix increased student financial assistance. The money also helped Hendrix projects that included the endowed innovative academic co-curricular and student life programs and developed facilities for art, science, literature and language, wellness and athletics.

The college increased student housing, building student apartments above the mixed-use buildings in The Village at Hendrix and a New Urbanist community adjacent to campus.

Hendrix played a lead role in the formation of the Rwanda Presidential Scholars initiative, with the support of the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, and launched the Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics, and Calling and the Crain-Maling Center of Jewish Culture under Cloyd.

"President Cloyd has positioned Hendrix as a major innovator and nationally recognized leader in the field of engaged liberal arts education," said Hendrix alumnus David Knight, trustee chairman, in a news release. "We are deeply grateful for President Cloyd’s bold vision and perseverance during these extraordinary times."

Executive Vice President and CCO Frank Cox said Cloyd was a bold leader who was "good at communicating his vision."

"He wasn’t afraid of change," Cox said. "Tim was an innovator, that’s why he was valuable."

W. Ellis Arnold III, executive vice president, general counsel and dean of Advancement, will serve as acting president during a national search for Cloyd’s successor. Arnold said in the release he looks forward to working with faculty, staff, students and alumni to "continue the advancement of the Hendrix mission."

Cloyd said Hendrix will continue to move forward. He said he has received support and inspiration from the community that has been "necessary to achieve the greatness Hendrix has enjoyed."

"We have carried the legacy of our founders, the United Methodist Church and our predecessors at Hendrix forward and, with the support of this community, Hendrix will continue to reach new horizons," Cloyd said in the release.

(Staff writer Scarlet Sims can be reached by email at or by phone at 505-1246. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to Send us your news at