Pat Robertson to retire from US college post

RICHMOND, Virginia (AP) âÄî Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson plans to retire next summer as president of Regent University, the private Christian college he founded in 1978, the school said Tuesday. The 79-year-old, who became the university’s sixth president in 2000, will retire from the position effective July 1, 2010. He will continue to serve as chancellor and on the board of trustees at the school known for its evangelical Christian perspective. In a statement released Tuesday, Robertson said serving as the school’s president has been an “honor and a joy,” and acknowledged the achievements of the university. When it was founded, Regent started as a Christian graduate school with 77 students and seven faculty members. It now has more than 4,500 students studying on its campus and online, and offers more than 30 graduate and undergraduate programs. Robertson said he will focus on expanding the university and implementing its master plan. “Our mission remains steadfast: to train Christian leaders who serve with excellence in every area of their lives,” Robertson said. “I have seen that excellence firsthand and I know that we have only just begun to see the fruits of our labor.” Regent spokeswoman Sherri Stokes said it was becoming apparent to Robertson that the day-to-day duties of being president were “quite time-consuming,” and that he wanted to spend more time on the strategic plan developed last summer. The plan includes building new classrooms and student housing. A newly appointed search committee is expected to name a new president by the fall semester of 2010, the school said. Robertson also founded the Christian Broadcasting Network, which airs programs in nearly 100 languages in more than 225 countries. Its flagship program, the “700 Club” talk show, reaches 1 million American households daily. Robertson still serves as chairman of CBN, but his son Gordon took over his post as the network’s chief executive in December 2007.