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Jay Simmons to step down as President

Simmons to continue in his role until successor is named


Today, the Simpson College Board of Trustees announced President Jay Simmons will step down from his current role once a successor is named. The board will launch a nationwide presidential search and Simmons will serve through the transition. 

“I’m honored and thankful for the opportunity to have served the Simpson community,” said Simmons. “As I enter my seventh academic year, I believe it’s the right time for a new president who can focus the campus community on Simpson’s next chapter.”

During his tenure, Simmons has led several financial and academic-related initiatives that have been vital to the future of Simpson College. This includes the launch of the Simpson Promise, which covers the full cost of tuition for qualified students from Iowa families.

“I want to thank Jay for his leadership and dedication to the college,” said Terry Lillis, Chair of the Simpson College Board of Trustees. “His commitment to higher education reflects the ideals we strive for as a college.”   

Under Simmons’s leadership, Simpson has consistently remained one of Iowa’s top, private colleges. In addition, the college was recently ranked 15th in the nation by EDSmart, a scholastic ranking specialist, for its online programs. Simpson was the only college in Iowa to make the list.    

“I am proud of what we have accomplished at Simpson and I know the college is well-positioned for a strong and vibrant future,” commented Simmons, who said he plans to seek other opportunities in higher education or corporate leadership.   

A presidential search committee is in the process of being formed. Those named to the committee will be reflective of Simpson’s many constituents and will be in accordance with the college’s bylaws.  This includes representatives of the Board of Trustees, faculty, and the resident bishop of the United Methodist Church in Iowa. Simpson College staff, alumni and a student advisory committee, as appointed by the presidential search committee, will also be involved in the process.

About Jay Simmons
Dr. Jay Simmons is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Before becoming the twenty-third president of Simpson College in June 2013, he served as president, dean and professor of political science at numerous prestigious colleges.

About Simpson College
Founded in 1860, Simpson College is an independent, selective, church-related, comprehensive liberal-arts college dedicated to excellence in higher education. Simpson’s main campus is located in Indianola, Iowa, a community of 16,000 people, located 12 miles south of Des Moines. 

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