Mount Holyoke College president resigns for job in Paris

The president of Mount Holyoke College has announced that she plans on stepping down in August to become the president of The American University of Paris.

Sonya Stephens said in a message to the school community on Wednesday that it was an extremely difficult decision.

"This unique opportunity to advance a contemporary expression of the liberal arts in France — one that brings together so many of my intellectual and administrative interests and commitments — will soon draw me away from our current and anticipated work together, and from this beloved community," she said.

Stephens, an internationally recognized expert on 19th century French literature, came to the women's college in 2013 as vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. She was named acting president in 2016 and president in 2018.

Trustees Chair Karena Strella praised Stephens for her "focused attention to areas of great need and potential" at the school in South Hadley, Massachusetts, with about 2,200 students, noting she has renewed and diversifed the curriculum, expanded financial aid, helped grow the endowment to more than $1 billion, and focused on inclusion and equity.

The school will name an interim president for the 2022-2023 academic year and conduct a national search for a permanent replacement.



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