Midway College President William B. Drake Jr. has announced his resignation from the private college in Woodford County.
In a news release, Drake, 55, said he has given his resignation to the board of trustees.
Meanwhile, the Rev. Robert Vogel will be the interim president who will lead Midway while a national search for Drake's successor is conducted, said Jim O'Brien, chairman of the school's board of directors. Vogel will start Monday at Midway, O'Brien said.
Vogel, 77, was president of Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, from 1980 until his retirement in 1998. Since then, he has served as interim president at Grand View College in Des Moines; Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa; Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas; and Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas.
Vogel also conducted a presidential search for Finlandia University in Hancock, Mich.
Drake said in an interview Wednesday that he had discussed his departure with the Midway board of trustees as early as November 2010.
"In 2002, I accepted the presidency of Midway College and the board of trustees' very aggressive goals related to enrollment management, fund-raising, development, capital improvement and other long-term priorities to ensure the viability and academic excellence of this historic institution," Drake said in the news release.
"After 10 years, I have largely accomplished those goals. Only the pharmacy project remains and with the shift of that project to now become a partnership with another institution, I feel my work on this initiative from concept to date is complete and now is the time to move on."
"The pharmacy project" referred to Midway's plans to open a pharmacy program at its campus in Paintsville to help ease a pharmacist shortage in Eastern Kentucky, but the search for a dean and the accreditation process had held up the plans. In January, Midway announced that it planned to go into business with the University of Charleston, allowing the West Virginia school to operate a pharmacy program at Midway's new building in Paintsville.
O'Brien, who is chairman and CEO of Ashland Inc., said of Drake: "Butch has done a lot of great things for the college and the board has supported him through his tenure. He's made a decision to resign and do other things, and the board respects that."
Drake said in the interview that he is "looking at a range of positions" in doing consulting work in enrollment management and development. He said he hopes to make a decision on his next step within the next two to three weeks.
Midway College reached an all-time high enrollment of 2,412 this year. The school has a goal of increasing its enrollment to 4,000 as part of a five-year strategic initiative. The majority of the growth is attributed to the college's online and night programs.
Enrollment was about 900 when Drake succeeded Allyson Handley as president in 2002.
Midway began in 1847 as the Kentucky Female Orphan School, which prepared financially disadvantaged women for teaching careers. The college, which now has more than 350 employees including adjunct faculty, marks 165 years as an educational institution this year.