The president of Linfield University, Miles Davis, is resigning, citing family health concerns.
Davis notified the university’s board of trustees of his decision in a special afternoon meeting Thursday. Davis is not leaving immediately, but said he plans to remain as Linfield’s leader until early 2024, after a transition period for an interim president has been completed.
Davis had been serving as the 20th president of Linfield University since 2018. He was the school’s first Black president.
In an email sent to Linfield students and staff Thursday afternoon, Davis said serving as the school’s president had been one of the greatest honors of his life.
“We have accomplished much together in the past five years,” Davis wrote in the letter. “I treasure the time we have worked, cheered, laughed and cried together.”
Davis, whose family home is in Virginia, also said his bi-coastal lifestyle is no longer tenable due to family obligations.
Under his leadership, the private liberal arts school grew its campus and spearheaded student diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
But in his short time at Linfield, Davis had also become a polarizing figure on campus.
Davis’ time at the school was marred by controversy as some staff in leadership roles, including Davis himself, were accused of antisemitism and sexual harassment. Linfield later reached a $1 million legal settlement with the professor behind the allegations.
School officials say a search for an interim president will begin right away and a national search for a permanent president will be conducted after Davis leaves.
Linfield University is based in McMinnville, Oregon, located about 33 miles southwest of Portland. The school also has a smaller campus located in Portland.