John W. Garland announced he will retire as President of Central State University at the end of the 2011-2012 academic year. The search for someone to succeed Garland has officially begun.

The Presidential Search Advisory Committee (PSAC) of Central State University is now in the process of selecting its eighth President, and invited the campus to participate in one of the three listening sessions that was held Friday, February 10, 2012. The process, according to the PSAC, includes gathering perspectives from staff, faculty, and students about essential leadership qualities for the next president as well as opportunities and challenges facing Central State University.

Garland was selected as the seventh President of the Alma mater of which he graduated from in 1971, and undertaken great change to a university that faced even greater opposition at the time.

Since Garland accepted the leadership of an institution that embodies 125 years of Academic Excellence in 1997, he has led a successful effort to restore financial and operational stability as enrollment grown significantly under his tenure. The University has also established strong cooperative relationships with its sister institutions in Ohio and it have won pledges of support from Ohio’s political and educational leadership thanks to President Garland.

“Every leader has an obligation to leave an organization in better condition than how they found it, and perhaps more importantly, to pass the baton to new leadership at a time when the organization is in good health and poised to prosper,” President Garland said about his contentment to depart from his Alma mater when both he and the university are in good health and have a bright future.

In the course of his term, Garland has achieved great feats for Central State University, such as increasing enrollment by 160 percent, constructing eight new buildings (including four residence halls), and witnessing Central State University being recognized as a Center of Excellence in Emerging Technologies by the State of Ohio. Faculty, staff, and students alike hope that his successor could further exemplify the university’s motto “Change is Central” into even greater heights.