Dr. Royce Money, 10th president of the university, told members of the Board of Trustees on Saturday he plans to retire at the end of the 2009-10 school year.
After his retirement, which will be effective May 31, 2010, Money will serve as chancellor.
Money, who has served as president since June 1991, has had the second longest term of office behind Don H. Morris, who was president for 29 years. He has overseen the construction of several campus landmarks, including the Hunter Welcome Center and the Williams Performing Arts Center.
Money said the board is in the process of appointing a committee, which will include representatives of the board, faculty, staff, students, alumni and administration, to find his successor.
“We are excited about the future of ACU and believe its best years are still ahead,” Money told members of the faculty in an e-mail Tuesday. “While God has blessed Abilene Christian in many ways in the past, we believe we are poised to reach even greater heights of excellence. Our 21st Century Vision has been successfully launched – even in challenging times – and we are well on our way to becoming the premier university for the education of Christ-centered, global leaders.”
During Money’s time as president, more than 15,000 degrees have been awarded to its students. ACU’s endowment has also increased from $55 million to $236 million, and the university has received more than $300 million in gifts.
ACU’s national recognition has also grown during Money’s tenure. Earlier this year, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university No. 1 for innovative leadership within the magazine’s 16-state west region. ACU has also been mentioned as “America’s 100 Best College Buys” and earned a spot on the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Money joined ACU’s faculty in 1981 as an associate professor of marriage and family therapy. Three years later, he moved to the Bible department to direct the ministry program, which he became the chair of in 1986. In 1987, Money became ACU’s first director of the Doctor of Ministry program, and then served as the executive assistant to the president. A year later, Money was named vice president and provost before succeeding Dr. William J. Teague as president in 1991.
Money has been married to Pam Handy since 1965. They have two daughters, Alison Elliott and Jennifer Crisp, and five grandchildren.
“Pam and I are deeply grateful for the love and support each of you in the ACU community has shown to us since we came to ACU in 1981,” Money said in the e-mail. “We love this place and we always will. The real heart of this university is its talented and selfless people, each committed to a cause larger than any of us: partners with God in the inspiring work of transforming students into the likeness of Christ. It is a high calling and one worthy of the best in our lives. Thank you for allowing us to serve alongside you.”