Drury’s president is stepping down. Dr. David Manuel says he’ll retire in May at the end of his contractual commitment.
In letters to faculty, staff, students, parents and alumni sent late Thursday, the 68-year-old president thanked the Drury community for the opportunity to lead the institution.
Manuel began his tenure at Drury in 2013. Since then, enrollment at the university has fallen, leading to a recent decision to lay off faculty members. Late last month, Drury officials decided not to renew contracts for five faculty members next school year and another seven the following year. In addition, three tenure-track faculty members will be assigned to other roles.
It’s not known if that played a role in Manuel’s decision to step down. Manuel is declining interviews at this time.
In a statement, Manuel said he’s been considering his future personal and professional plans for several months in light of completing nearly 41 years in higher education. He said, “I have enjoyed working with all of Drury’s constituent groups and have come to deeply admire this great American university as well as the entire Springfield community. We have an outstanding leadership team, and I am confident they will be able to move the university forward.”
Lyle Reed, chairman of the Drury Board of Trustees, said they appreciate Dr. Manuel and Betty Coe Manuel’s service to Drury and to the community. “We look forward to working together toward a smooth transition,” he said.