Allegheny president announces plans for upcoming retirement

President Mullen

Allegheny College President James Mullen has announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2018-19 academic year.

Provost Ron Cole said the college’s Board of Trustees is spearheading the search for Mullen’s successor.

“It’s the Board of Trustees that runs the search and hires the next president,” Cole said.

The Board of Trustees has employed the firm Storbeck/Pimentel and Associates, based in Media, Pennsylvania, to assist in the search.

“This specific search firm has been used in the past,” said Eileen Petula, executive vice president of the college.

Mullen said he made the decision to retire after discussions with his family and after reflecting on his career as a college president.

“When I retire, it will be eleven years as president of Allegheny and twenty years as a college president, which is about a third of my life as a college president,” Mullen said.

Mullen decided to announce his retirement in advance, so the college would have time to prepare for his successor.

“The reason I wanted to do it eighteen months ahead of time was to ensure that Allegheny could have the opportunity for a thoughtful search and a very smooth transition to the new president,” Mullen said. “I will retire on June 30 of 2019.”

Mullen said he will devote the remainder of his tenure at Allegheny to fundraising, professional responsibilities and interacting with students.

“There are several areas that I will continue to put focus on,” Mullen said. “The first and most important to me is the relationship that I have with our students. I want to spend as much time as I can over the next year here on campus in the company of students.”

Mullen said he also wished to help the college’s “Our Allegheny: Our Third Century Quest” fundraising campaign work towards its completion. He said the campaign, which is hoping to raise 200 million dollars, had raised roughly 155 million dollars.

“I’ll be spending a good bit of time on the road with alumni and with donors, pursuing that campaign, which is going very, very well,” Mullen said.

Mullen said the campaign is attempting to raise money for provisions such as scholarships, endowment and student programming.

“Not really salaries but professional development opportunities, opportunities for research, endowed chairs are where you would see some salary support,” Mullen said.

Additionally, Mullen plans to work on fulfilling his responsibilities on various associational boards related to Allegheny College and the broader higher education landscape.

“I also will continue to have some national responsibilities. I serve on the board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, or NAICU, and also on the American Council on Education, or ACE boards, and I’m currently chair of the Great Lakes Colleges Association, and am also on the board of our athletic conference,” Mullen said.

Mullen talked about what he has learned and felt during his time at Allegheny in preparation for his departure.

“I am very grateful for what Allegheny has meant to me and to my family,” Mullen said. “It’s been a privilege to serve here, I’ve had this chance to serve this college at the time of its bicentennial, I have had the great joy of knowing so many tremendous students, and I will always cherish the friendships that have been developed here.”