President Kroger Announces He Will Step Down in June

Board Chairman Roger Perlmutter thanks John for his invaluable leadership.

February 9, 2018

Dear colleagues and friends:

Today, I am announcing that I will be stepping down as president of Reed this summer, at the end of my sixth year. I have loved my time at Reed, and I am proud of the things we have done together. It has been a great privilege to be a part of this vibrant community and to work with extraordinary faculty, dedicated staff, and promising students.

When I arrived, my top priorities were to strengthen the college's academic program, expand financial aid, improve college finances, and build a more diverse, healthy, and inclusive community. Together, we have made significant advancements in all of these areas.

Reed in many ways is stronger than ever, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have served with you. It is always hard to know when to leave a job you love, but I am confident that this is the right time for me, my family, and for Reed. Over the coming months, I will work closely with the Board of Trustees to develop and implement a smooth transition plan.  

Thanks for your friendship and your trust.  

With gratitude and warm regards,

John R. Kroger


Dear Reed community:

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and the gratitude of the Board of Trustees to President Kroger for his remarkable contributions to Reed, and our appreciation for his outstanding leadership. The Board of Trustees put forth a challenging set of objectives for President Kroger when he joined our community in 2012. Through his engagement, exceptional progress has been made:

  • Academic and College Programs: Under President Kroger's leadership, the faculty has created four new majors—computer science, neuroscience, dance, and comparative literature—and has made significant progress toward a Comparative Race and Ethnicity Studies interdisciplinary major; Reed has doubled the number of professors in environmental studies; the college has created a successful Center for Teaching and Learning to improve pedagogy; and the college has established the Center for Life Beyond Reed to bolster post-graduation employment outcomes, resulting in improved first-destination employment placement.

  • Diversity and Inclusion: During President Kroger's tenure, the college has continued to make significant progress toward becoming a more diverse community. The faculty's adoption of new search practices has resulted in significant increases in the diversity of our tenure-track hires. In a five-year period (2011–16), 60% of tenure-track hires have been faculty of color and women in STEM fields, compared with 14% in the previous five years (2006–11). The college has also recruited a more diverse applicant pool under President Kroger's leadership, which has resulted in a more diverse student body. Applications from students of color rose from 786 in 2012 to 1,732 in 2017, representing a 120% increase. Students of color in the student body increased from 22% to 31%. At the same time, the college doubled the size of the international student body. Today 40% of the student body identifies as non-majority.  

  • Recruitment and Enrollment: Under President Kroger, Reed's recruitment and enrollment have flourished. Since President Kroger took office, the college has increased its applicant pool by 100%, without any reduction in the academic qualifications of matriculants. The average GPA has remained at 3.9 since 2012, and the average ACT and SAT scores are in the 95th percentile. Reed competes with the nation's most elite institutions; students who apply to Reed also apply to Brown University, The University of Chicago, The University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University, among others.  

  • Financial Aid: Recent changes in financial aid policies have strengthened the college's aid packages. Reed continues to be one of the very few colleges to meet 100% of the demonstrated financial need for both domestic and international students. Reed graduates have less student loan debt than the national average, and the college now commits more than $27 million annually in assistance to students who would otherwise not be able to attend. 

  • College Finances: The college's financial health has continued to strengthen. During President Kroger's tenure, the Reed endowment has increased from $457 million to $560 million as of December 31, 2017. And, thanks to the tremendous generosity of our donors, the college has raised more than $100 million under President Kroger's leadership. Reed recently received an A+ for financial strength from Forbes magazine.

  • Physical Plant: Major enhancements have been made to Reed's campus since 2012. The construction of the new Performing Arts Building was completed, a childcare center was built, renovations to the cross canyon dorms, sports center, and the Prexy, Greenwood, and Greywood buildings were completed, and the college embarked upon building a new residence hall.  

President Kroger has provided invaluable leadership during his tenure, which has been a period of rapid advancement. Throughout this time, Reed has remained a powerful advocate for education in the liberal arts, while maintaining the highest standards of intellectual excellence. We are grateful to President Kroger for his steadfast commitment to Reed, and we look forward to building on his legacy.     

Roger M. Perlmutter '73
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Reed College

Tags: Institutional