Woodbury president to step down

After fewer than three years in the position, Woodbury University President Luis Ma. R. Calingo announced Thursday he will be stepping down from the helm of the private Burbank college.

Though he will retain the title through June 30, college officials said in a statement he will be relieved of his duties as of Feb. 28. David Dauwalder, Woodbury’s current provost, will serve as interim president starting March 1.

Calingo, who could not immediately be reached for comment, said in a statement that he let the college’s governing body, the Board of Trustees, know last fall he did not intend to seek an extension of his contract, which expires at the end of the current academic year.

His statement did not give specific reasons for stepping down, only saying that his abilities did not appear to line up with the larger goals of the Board of Trustees.

“Therefore, I have decided to seek out other leadership opportunities, where my skill sets at strategy-making and building organizations and systems will add value,” he said.

According to an online resume, Calingo’s tenure in positions have been three years or fewer. He held the title of executive vice president at the Dominican University of California – in Northern California – for three years, from 2009 to 2012, and was dean of Dominican’s business school for two years prior to that. Prior to that, he was dean of an Ohio business school for about a year.

Calingo’s time at Woodbury was not without controversy. The wife of Woodbury’s prior president, Rose Nielsen, claimed she was fired in September 2012 after complaining of mistreatment of university employees by Calingo’s wife, Gemeline Calingo. Kenneth Nielsen retired as president in June of that year after 16 years at the post.

The university and Rose Nielsen settled a lawsuit stemming from the claims for an undisclosed sum in February 2014. 

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