Bradley University President Stephen Standifird Announces Resignation

After leading Bradley University through some of the most challenging years in higher education, President Stephen Standifird has announced his decision to resign from his position, effective June 15. Dr. Standifird has served as the university's leader since May 2020 and played a pivotal role in advancing the institution's mission and strategic goals. Current Board of Trustees Chair Jonathan Michael has agreed to serve as Interim President while Vice Chair Matthew Vonachen will perform the duties of the Board Chair. 

In his announcement to the campus community, Dr. Standifird expressed his gratitude for the support and collaboration he has received from the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, students and the broader Bradley University community during his tenure. He highlighted collective achievements during the last four years, including creating a more inclusive campus, introducing a number of new programs that respond to the needs and desires of today’s students, and creating the nation’s first 5G Digitally Connected Campus.

“Serving as the President of Bradley University has been an incredible honor and privilege,” said Dr. Standifird. “Together, we have navigated numerous challenges and celebrated many successes. I am proud of what we have accomplished and am confident that Bradley University will continue to thrive and achieve great things in the future.”

The Board of Trustees, Interim President Michael and Dr. Standifird are committed to a seamless transition and steady leadership for the university. Interim President Michael will work closely with Dr. Standifird, faculty, staff, students and other members of the Bradley community to ensure continuity across university operations. The leadership team remains focused on providing Bradley students with an exceptional learning environment and a wide range of programs to prepare them for personal and professional success.

Interim President Michael recognized Dr. Standifird's contributions and dedication to the university. 

“Like many universities, Bradley faced significant challenges during the last four years,” Michael said. “We are grateful to Dr. Standifird for his hard work and leadership during this historic time. He helped the university navigate the pandemic, address enrollment issues, and he took steps to meet financial challenges. The difficult work done during the last four years is one reason the future of Bradley is very bright. We wish Dr. Standifird the very best in his next leadership role.” 

As Interim President, Jonathan Michael will be responsible for all university operations. Interim President Michael is the retired chairman and CEO of RLI Corp. He has served on the Bradley University Board of Trustees since 2016. 

The Board of Trustees will initiate a comprehensive search for a new president, including the use of a nationally recognized search firm. The Board is committed to an extremely thorough search process that will result in the right leader for Bradley University and its future.