Dr. Ruth Simmons Prairie View A&M University

Prairie View A&M President Ruth Simmons to step down

Prairie View A&M University President Ruth Simmons is stepping down at the end of the month.

Prairie View A&M University President Dr. Ruth J. Simmons will be leaving her post earlier than anticipated.

Simmons published a letter on Friday stating she will be leaving as president at the end of February. She was slated to retire from the position on June 1, but according to her letter she is stepping down from her post — much to her own surprise.

“No one is more surprised than I by this premature end to my tenure,” Simmons noted. “Indeed, I had counted on working assiduously to assure the success of my successor by completing in full and as ably as I ean my responsibilities as president. However, I was informed recently that I could only continue as president with limited presidential authority. My immediate response was that I could not and would not agree to being president in name only.”

Prairie View A&M University is under the umbrella of Texas A&M University System. Its Chancellor John Sharp, stated that presidents in the Texas A&M System who are leaving cannot hire senior staff or deans except on an interim basis so the new president can choose their team. The system denied Simmons the opportunity and she decided to vacate her post at the end of February. 

Prairie View A&M University

“I am sorry she chose this path, but I am forever grateful for her service at Prairie View A&M University and look forward to even greater things in the future,” Sharp said in a statement.

Simmons stood firm in her decision in her letter, which was published on Friday. 

“No enduring good can arise from subservience to low standards and expectations. Having been through two previous presidential transitions at leading institutions, I’m aware of how such an important moment in the life of a university must be conducted – with utmost attention to continuing the work unfailingly and with the highest standards. When I agreed almost 6 years ago to become president of Prairie View, I promised that I would be all-in from the moment I commenced my role until the moment I stepped down. I believe that promise to be inviolable. I cannot now become a leader accepting lowered expectations.”

Prairie View A&M President Ruth Simmons to step down
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


To Top