Hardaway told the community it has been her “privilege to collaborate, partner and join with you in fulfilling this great mission to educate men and women at my alma mater.”
Faculty union president Richard Deering said he believes her retirement announcement is an outgrowth of problems at the 157-year-old university in recent years. Students began protests in October over dwindling enrollment, living conditions on campus, declining students services and pay of faculty, and threatened to withdraw in fall 2013 if changes were not made.
A complaint to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office led to a yearlong investigation but found no evidence to support claims that university leadership were violating their fiduciary duties.
“The situations of low enrollment and poor fund-raising and all those things are just continuing problems for the institution,” Deering said. “Even under the best circumstances under improve and strong leadership, I think it’s going to be very difficult for the institution.”
The university said it is in the process of appointing a presidential search committee.
Top administrators have long been criticized by alumni, faculty and staff. Flake received a “no-confidence vote” from faculty shortly before he left the school in 2008.
A university spokesman declined to provide information about Hardaway’s status on Wednesday and said a statement would be released today.