Tags: donna shalala | retires | miami

University of Miami's Donna Shalala to Retire, Former Clinton Official

Monday, 08 Sep 2014 03:49 PM

University of Miami President Donna Shalala, a former Clinton administration official who was considered a major catch by the school when she joined in 2001, said on Monday she plans to step down at the end of the academic year.

Shalala, 73, took over at Miami's top private university after serving as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services for eight years under President Bill Clinton, longer than any other person has held the post.

While the announcement came as a surprise, Shalala said she felt she had accomplished her mission of securing Miami's place "as the next great American research university," according to a statement on the university's website.

"A long time ago a friend advised me to always leave a job when you still love it. That is certainly the case here," she said.

Previously nicknamed "Sun U" because of its reputation for students more interested in beach life than attending class, Shalala was instrumental in raising its academic profile, as well as being a prolific fundraiser.

Under her stewardship, Miami broke into the ranking of the nation's top 50 colleges and universities, and opened its own 560-bed hospital as well as a biomedical research and development facility.

Shalala thanked the trustees for "letting me take the university on a journey of excellence that was promising, but risky."

"It is so easy to stand still," she wrote. "Pursuing greatness is not for the meek or cautious."

A sports enthusiast she regularly attended university games, though the school's football program has struggled to win a title in recent years.

Shalala steered the university athletics program through a scandal involving a now jailed Ponzi schemer who developed close ties to the football team, including entertaining athletes in violation of National Collegiate Athletic Association rules.

Among her many honors was receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian award, from President George W. Bush in 2008, and the Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights in 2010.

Born in Cleveland of Lebanese heritage, she was president of Hunter College of the City University of New York from 1980 to 1987, and served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1987 to 1993.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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University of Miami President Donna Shalala, a former Clinton administration official who was considered a major catch by the school when she joined in 2001, said on Monday she plans to step down at the end of the academic year. Shalala, 73, took over at Miami's top private...
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2014-49-08
Monday, 08 Sep 2014 03:49 PM
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