ST. LEO — The president of Saint Leo University announced Tuesday he plans to retire at the end of the 2014-15 academic year.
Arthur F. Kirk Jr. has been president of the private university in Pasco County since 1997 and has overseen major growth during his tenure, including the construction of several buildings on campus and enrollment that has grown from 7,403 to 16,450.
“While presidents often get credit for success, I am most proud of those at Saint Leo who embraced our mission, practiced our values, and pursued our vision, never fearing change, and worked tirelessly to create a successful and sustainable university for the 21st century,” Kirk said in a statement released by the university. “The faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, and friends have all been an integral part of what stands today as the third largest Catholic university in America.”
Kirk also said he would miss the students, whom he said “stand as role models by practicing our core values while on campus and then living them in the world as alumni.”
Kirk came to what was then Saint Leo College in January 1997 and, under his leadership, the college evolved into Saint Leo University.
In addition to its main campus in Pasco County, Saint Leo University also has more than 40 teaching locations in seven states, along with online programs.