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Allendale – Grand Valley State University’s fourth president will retire next year, the school announced Wednesday.

Thomas J. Haas, 66, will step down from the post he has held since 2006 on June 30, 2019.

In a statement, Haas said he informed the university of his planned retirement ahead of time to give the Board of Trustees time to find his successor.

“I can see that there will be another chapter in my life, but it won't start for another year-and-a-half,” Haas said. “The university has amazing momentum right now. We’re expanding our health campus on Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile; we’re expanding our engineering programs into new space downtown; we have renewed energy to work on enrollment and retention as the challenges in higher education grow.”

After a break, Haas will serve as a chemistry professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Since Haas became president, Grand Valley has added 30 undergraduate programs and 16 graduate programs, opened the Detroit Center and added 2.5 million square feet of building space.

“President Haas brought his wonderful mix of experiences to Grand Valley a dozen years ago, and the university has prospered under his leadership,” Board of Trustees Chairman John C. Kennedy said in a statement. “His respect for planning and public-private partnerships has created stability within the university and trustworthiness within the larger region.”

Grand Valley has more than 25,000 students.

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