University of Northern Iowa president Bill Ruud has made his final appearance before the board that hired him three years ago.
“I guess it’s my turn to say: ‘Thank you,'” Ruud said.
The Board of Regents held a reception for Ruud Wednesday night. Ruud spoke to the board during its public meeting on Thursday. Ruud submitted his resignation last month. He will become the president of a small private college in Ohio on July 3rd.
“Marietta’s going to be a wonderful opportunity,” Ruud said. “It is a small community of 20,000 on the Ohio River. I like to tell people it’s the Grinnell on the Ohio River, in the east side of the country.”
Grinnell College was established here in Iowa back in 1846 and has a student body of about 1700. Marietta College opened in 1835 and has about 1200 students.
“It was one of the locations that George Washington had identified to be the capitol of the new frontier, just in case we lost the Revolutionary War,” Ruud said. “We won, so Marietta (Ohio) went along on its own business, so it’s very steeped in history.”
Ruud said he had “three great years” at UNI and he has “mixed emotions” about leaving.
“I’m very excited that we’ve been able to drive enrollment up. I’m very excited we’ve been able to drive debt down,” Ruud said. “We have a great leadership team in place, so I know that I’m leaving the university in good hands. I’m not going to sever any ties to Iowa, so I’m going to sneak back every now and then. Ben Jacobson’s already got me tickets for the Xavier game when UNI plays in Cincinnati after Thanksgiving.”
Ruud still has the #purple for life hashtag on his Twitter account, but that’s likely to change when he starts his new job. The colors for Marietta College are navy blue and white. The school’s sports teams are known as “Pioneers” and Marietta uses the hashtag #PioNation.