Hennessy resigns as Stanford president

Stanford University President John Hennessy will step down from his position next year after more than 15 years, university officials announced Thursday.

Hennessy started serving as the university’s 10th president in October 2000 and will resign in summer 2016, with plans to focus on research and teaching, according to school officials.

In 1994, Hennessy was chairman of the Department of Computer Science, the dean of the School of Engineering in 1996 and provost in 1999 before taking on the presidency.

While serving as president, Hennessy helped launch the “Stanford Challenge” fundraiser, a five-year campaign that raised $6.2 billion benefiting new faculty appointments, graduate fellowships, collaborative research, undergraduate scholarships and other campus needs, university officials said.

Multiple campus centers and institutes have opened during his tenure including the Stanford Neurosciences Institute, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, according to university officials.

He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University in Pennsylvania and his master’s and doctoral degrees in computer science from State University of New York at Stony Brook.

John Etchemendy replaced Hennessy as provost in 2000 and will stay with Hennessy’s successor for up to one year, but will not be a candidate for the presidency, university officials said.

The university’s board of trustees will form a search committee for the school’s next president chaired by former board chairman Isaac Stein, according to school officials.

The search committee will be made up of board, faculty and university community members and will conduct a national and international search for Hennessy’s successor starting in September, school officials said.