NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Dr. Bob Fisher announced this week he will step down as president of Belmont University and retire in May 2021 after two decades in the role.
"In my inauguration speech in 2000, I remarked that Belmont was a really good university, but then went on rather boldly to quote Bachman-Turner Overdrive to say 'but you ain’t seen nothin' yet,'" Fisher said. "What has been accomplished by our leadership team, our staff, our faculty and especially our students has exceeded anything we could have imagined. My overwhelming response to all that’s been accomplished is a deep sense of gratitude. I’m thankful for the incredibly smart and talented people on this campus who approach their work with great enthusiasm, effort and dedication, as well as for the tremendously supportive Board of Trustees who have stood with me all these years. Without a doubt, my wife Judy and I have been so blessed to be a part of Belmont—we are Bruins for life."
The university's board of trustees will begin the process of finding a new president with an anticipating start date of next summer. Details on the search process will be released in the future.
Since Fisher took over as president in 2000, Belmont has invested more than $1 billion in new construction, renovations and property acquisitions. Enrollment has grown from 2,976 students to more than 8,200, marking Belmont as the largest ecumenical Christian university in the county. Among the list of accomplishments under his tenure, Belmont's overall academic offerings have expanded to more than 100 areas of undergraduate study and the campus has hosted two presidential debates.
"A visionary and innovator in higher education, Fisher's tenure is marked by Belmont's phenomenal growth, dramatic rise in national prominence, dedication to student success and extraordinary commitment to what he calls 'the greatest privilege in life, serving someone else,'" the university's announcement read.
After next May, Fisher plans to take a year-old sabbatical to spend time with family and spend time on his farm in Arkansas. The board asked Fisher to consider taking the position of Chancellor of Belmont at the end of his sabbatical.