Whittier College President James L. Ash Jr., who strengthened finances, increased endowments and attracted a stronger applicant pool during his nine-year tenure, announced this week that he will resign in June 1999.
The college's 12th president oversees both the main campus in Whittier and the law school in Costa Mesa.
"In 1989, I came to Whittier with a mandate from the Board of Trustees to reverse the fortunes of an institution whose future was uncertain," Ash wrote in a letter to the trustees.
"In reviewing the successful efforts that we have launched together in the past nine years, I have come to the conclusion that by the end of this, my 10th year, I will have accomplished what the board brought me to Whittier to do."
Ash spent 12 years as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Miami before arriving at Whittier.
During Ash's tenure, the 100-year-old college's undergraduate applicant pool doubled; the undergraduate student body has grown 35%; endowments tripled.
The college counts nine consecutive years of budget surpluses; more than $25 million has been spent on capital improvements.
Whittier Law School experienced dramatic growth, prompting its move last year to a $21-million, 15-acre campus on Harbor Boulevard.
Ash said he announced his resignation early to allow officials time to find a successor.