By Amy Deyerle-Smith
Last Friday morning, President Jonathan Lash announced via email his intention to retire at the end of the 2017-18 school year.
“This is a bittersweet decision for me,” he wrote, explaining the factors in his decision: his prolonged illness last winter that kept him out most of the spring semester, and his desire to go on adventures with his wife, Ellie, before they are old and feeble (sorry– “while they are still healthy and able.”)
Lash also wrote of notable achievements of his time here, such as the construction of the “living” Kern center, increased financial aid, and switch to solar power. “This feels like momentum to me, and I hope it does to you, too,” the email said. “Together we will build on it. I have never felt more confident or more excited by the possibilities that lie ahead for Hampshire.”
The e-mail was optimistic, not mentioning the campus discord that has dominated the last two semesters, which centered around issues with the administration’s response to sexual assault and racism in the Spring of 2016, and racism and the American flag last fall.
Board of Trustees Chair Gaye Hill pledged to find a new president that would “be steeped in Hampshire’s values.” The Board will be identifying a search committee in the next few weeks, with the search itself beginning in March. She says that at that point they will be taking input from the Hampshire community