BUENA VISTA, Va. — A search is underway to find a new president for Southern Virginia University.

SVU President Rodney K. Smith announced his resignation to students, faculty and staff last Friday. He has accepted a position as a professor of law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, Calif., where he will also direct a new center on athletics and the law.

“The university is in the strongest position it has ever been in,” Smith said. “The man or woman who will be your next president is walking into a great opportunity.”

Smith will maintain ties to Southern Virginia as a trustee and co-chair on the university’s board of trustees.

Smith will remain as president until the school’s application for full regional accreditation is submitted to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. SVU’s board of trustees has organized a search committee to initiate a full search process for the Smith’s replacement.

“We will immediately begin a search to find the right person to build on the significant contributions President Smith has made to the university,” said Jim Skeen, a university trustee who will head the search committee. “If we have not completed the search process before President Smith’s departure, the board of trustees will appoint an interim president.”

Inquiries about the position of president at SVU may be directed to hr@svu.edu.

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