GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – The president of Kendall College of Art and Design has announced his resignation and his position will be temporarily filled by his predecessor.
In a release Thursday, a school spokesperson said the college had accepted President David Rosen’s resignation with regret, but did not go into further detail on the matter.
And neither Rosen nor officials of Ferris State University, which owns Kendall, explained Thursday why Rosen is leaving.
Faculty Senate Chair Pat Constantine was close to tears while describing why Rosen was so good for Kendall.
“We are just devastated by his loss,” Constantine said. “He has done so many wonderful things for this school. We have really been progressing.”
When word of Rosen’s resignation started to spread, students created a Facebook page to support him. Some gathered on campus Wednesday.
“We’re really passionate about what we do, and he (Dr. Rosen) was just as passionate about what we do and more specifically us, which is just awesome,” student Allan Durham said. “He cared. He loved what we did. He loved us.”
According to some online posts, some students see Rosen leaving as part of a power struggle over Kendall’s independence from Ferris State.
Rosen put out a statement assuring students he was not fired, that he voluntarily resigned in March effective Thursday and that he’s satisfied with the terms. Rosen told them the demonstrations were not in his best interest nor Kendall’s.
Still, there was no announcement from Ferris State about the resignation until after 24 Hour News 8 started asking questions. Even then, its comments were primarily about Rosen’s predecessor Oliver Evans returning as interim president while the school searches for a permanent replacement.
Evans, who retired in 2012 after leading the school for 18 years, said in a release that it will be an honor to again serve as president. During his tenure, Evans helped to triple the student body to approximately 1,400 students. He also oversaw the merger between the college and Ferris State University, and aided in the school’s partnership with ArtPrize, according to a release.
Kendall’s faculty senate is holding an emergency meeting Saturday to discuss its response to Rosen’s departure.