Inside INdiana Business

Trine University president to retire after 23 years in role

ANGOLA, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The president of Trine University in Angola has announced his plans for retirement. Earl Brooks, who is currently the longest-serving college or university president in Indiana, says he will retire at the end of the 2022-2023 academic year after 23 years in the role.

Brooks joined the university in 2000 when it was known as Tri-State University. The school says it was facing declining enrollment, retention concerns and stressed finances, among other issues at the time.

Since becoming president, Trine says Brooks has overseen growth at the university, including raising more than $250 million to fund a revitalization of the Angola campus, as well as increased enrollment and growth in academic programs and athletics.

“Dr. Brooks’ shoes will certainly be difficult to fill, but the tremendous, transformational, work he has done over the last 23 years has put the university in an outstanding position. He also built a world-class administrative team,” Rick James, chair of the Trine Board of Trustees, said in written remarks. “All of this, along with the university’s very strong financial foundation, means his successor will assume one of the best jobs in higher education.”

Brooks announced his plans Monday in an email to faculty, staff, alumni and donors.

“I believe this university is in its strongest position ever – academically, financially, strategically – which makes it the best time to turn over the reins to a worthy successor who will keep us on this extraordinary path we built together,” Brooks said in his email. “I intend to operate this next year as if nothing has changed and plan to run full-speed across the finish line next May. This means, of course, you’ll still receive the same early-morning emails or texts. I’ll still ask the same hard questions at meetings. And I will still expect to share a laugh when we encounter one another on campus.”

Brooks says the Trine board has already formed a committee to begin the search process for his successor. A time frame for the selection was not provided.