Rose-Hulman leader Conwell stepping down after five years in job

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology President Jim Conwell plans to step down Nov. 15 after five years in the position, the school announced Wednesday.

Conwell, 59, resigned because of a “need to focus on a family health issue that is requiring more of his time and attention,” according to a statement from the university in Terre Haute. The board of trustees accepted his resignation.

“Jim has moved this institution forward—we have a beautiful new student union, additional land on which to grow, and a new academic building in the works,” said Rose-Hulman Board Chair Niles Noblitt in a written statement. “We wish him well.”

The board has appointed Rob Coons, senior vice president for Rose-Hulman, to serve as acting president. The full board will meet later in November to discuss a transition plan.

Conwell is the 15th president of Rose-Hulman. He previously worked for Proctor & Gamble, where he served as a project engineer and engineering manager. 

He also worked for a company that was sold to Jacobs Engineering, where he was a senior vice president overseeing design and build projects in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical and mining industries.

He has a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from Vanderbilt University.

Founded in 1874, Rose-Hulman has an enrollment of about 2,100 undergraduates and nearly 100 graduate students.

The school has been ranked as best undergraduate engineering program at schools where doctorates aren’t offered for the last 20 years by U.S. News & World Report.

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