But he's not leaving the Mount.
Some changes are coming at the top at Mount Saint Mary's University in Emmitsburg. President Tom Powell has announced that he will step down from the position after the 2013-2014 academic year. He has held the position since 2003. "It was always healthy for institutions to have planned changes in leadership," says Powell. "Now is a very good time for the Mount to look for its 25th president."
After his tenure as President ends, Powell says he will take a one-year sabbatical, and that includes working for an orphanage in the nation of East Timor. He says the facility is called Topo Honus, which has been run by a Catholic priest for the past 40 years. "It's just a wonderful place serving 120 children," he says.
East Timor was once a part of Indonesia. It is considered the poorest country in Asia, and the second poorest in the world.
After that, Powell says he will return to the Mount to teach educational psychology, with an emphasis on disabilities. "The Board has granted me the title of President Emeritus, so I'll be teaching in that capacity. Also, offering whatever support I can to the new President, including keeping out of his or her way," he says.
During the ten years Powell has been President of the Mount, he has overseen the school's transition from a college to a university, and was there to celebrate the University's bicentennial in 2008. "And the other thing I'm very proud about is we have really worked hard to diversify our campus," he says. "We've doubled the number of minority students on campus. And provided all of our students a fair amount of financial support." Powell says enrollment is up at Mount Saint Mary's, and the upcoming school year will see the second largest class coming in for the fall semester.
The Board of Trustees at Mount Saint Mary's will begin the search for a new President in June. It will be led by Trustee Scott Wilfong, and a panel of trustees, faculty, staff, administrators, students and alumni.