Furman's President Will Leave Post In June - WSPA.com

Furman's President Will Leave Post In June

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Furman President Rod Smolla Furman President Rod Smolla
Carl Kohrt, Ph.D will serve as Furman University interim president. Carl Kohrt, Ph.D will serve as Furman University interim president.
GREENVILLE, S.C. -

Furman University says that its president is stepping down.

A spokesperson tells 7 On Your Side President Rod Smolla will leave the position as of June 30 for personal reasons.

"I have enjoyed my tenure at Furman, which is truly one of the gems in American higher education, and I am confident that the institution will continue to grow in influence and reputation," Smolla said. "The decision to resign was reached only after long and thoughtful deliberation, and in the end I felt that the needs of my family must be first among my priorities."

The university board has elected Carl Kohrt, Ph.D., a graduate of the Furman Class of 1965 with strong ties to the university, to serve as interim president, Board of Trustees chairman Richard Cullen said.

Furman Trustee Robert Hill will chair a search committee for the next president. The university says Hill is president and chief executive officer of Acosta Sales and Marketing Co. in Jacksonville, Fla.

Smolla is the university's 11th president and has held the position since 2010.

Applications for admission increased by 30 percent during Smolla's tenure. The enrollment of freshman minority students doubled and freshman international students grew from one student to 29 according to the university.

In 2011 he was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to serve on the state's Commission on Higher Education and he has led Furman partnerships with the Upcountry History Museum, the Poinsett Corridor project and with some of Greenville's leading visual and performing arts organizations through the "Partners in the Arts" initiative.

Dr. Kohrt, a native of Illinois, attended Furman on a football scholarship, playing both football and basketball his freshman year. He was graduated magna cum laude in 1965 with a B.S. in chemistry and was among the first group of Furman students to formally engage in undergraduate research with faculty.

He earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1971, and served as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Post-doctoral Fellow to the James Frank Institute that same year.

Dr. Kohrt earned a Master of Science degree in Management Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991.  

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