Destler, 69, has served as the school’s ninth president for the past 10 years.
“It has been a privilege to lead RIT alongside such great students, faculty, staff and alumni,” Destler said in a statement. “I credit RIT’s transformation into one of the world’s great universities to them. I am proud to have been along for the ride.”
And, although officials said Destler will be hard to replace, a nationwide search for his successor will begin immediately.
“Under Destler’s leadership, RIT’s enrollment has reached record levels, selectivity and diversity have improved, the value of research awards has skyrocketed, and geographic draw continues to widen across the U.S. and overseas,” the school’s website stated. “Destler accomplished his vision of turning RIT into one of the most innovative universities in the world.”
Destler, along with his wife, Rebecca Johnson, also created the Rochester City Scholars program, a program which gives Rochester City School District graduates free full tuition to attend RIT. He’s also partnered with Uncommon Schools to develop a charter high school in Rochester.
“Under Bill Destler’s leadership, the concept of innovation has now become a culture, which reaches far beyond the walls of RIT,” Mayor Lovely Warren said in a statement. “Bill Destler took the knowledge, ideas and determination that RIT is known for, and put it to work in the community, helping us create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods, and better educational opportunities for all of our residents.”
Deslter has been RIT’s president July 1, 2007, and will continue in the position until the end of June 2017.