The Austin College board of trustees named Michael Imhoff as interim president of the college as of Saturday. Imhoff served Austin College as vice president for Academic Affairs from 2000 until his retirement in 2013.
Former President Marjorie Hass left in late June to assume the presidency of Rhodes College in Tennessee. That move was announced last December and the AC board began work to find the next president of the college — only the 16th in its 168-year history.
Imhoff already knows the college well, having become a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry in 1970. He was named the Rupert B. Lowe Chair in Chemistry in 1995 and received the college’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 1997. His career in the classroom, which included courses in general chemistry and organic chemistry, involved research opportunities for many students. During his teaching career, he served as department chair and dean of the sciences, as well as the first director of the Austin College Center for Environmental Studies.
“We are confident that Dr. Imhoff’s long-tenured experience and knowledge of Austin College and its constituencies, as well as his leadership and great wisdom, will bring a sense of steadiness and positive direction to this transition period,” Scott Austin, Austin College 1983 graduate, member of the Board of Trustees, and chair of the Search Committee for the 16th President, said. “We are grateful to Mike for his love of Austin College and his willingness to serve.”
Imhoff said he is honored to take on the duties.
“Austin College is very special to me,” Imhoff said. “… I look forward to working with my many friends and colleagues as Austin College continues the tradition of offering the very finest liberal arts education.”
Upon retirement in May 2013, after 43 years of service to the College, Imhoff was granted status as professor emeritus of chemistry and vice president emeritus of academic affairs. He had been instrumental in the planning and design of the College’s IDEA Center, and its opening in Fall Term 2013 was a fitting capstone to Imhoff’s esteemed career in academics.
He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Riverside and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.