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University of Mary Washington President Judy Hample says her decision to resign was 'personal' and not forced by board of visitors.

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RECORDING IS RELEASED: Audio and video released by UMW of the controversial emergency test call
Date published: 2/26/2010


University of Mary Washington President Judy Hample, who abruptly resigned last week, says she realizes some think they are "entitled to know everything."

Still, she won't say why she resigned, nor does she plan to address the university community about her departure.

"My reason is personal," she said. "A personal reason is just that--it's personal. I'm not willing to elaborate."

Hample sat down with The Free Lance-Star Wednesday evening to discuss a variety of topics, including accomplishments and controversies during her short-lived presidency.

Hample will have served two years of a five-year contract when she leaves her post June 30. She said she told the board of visitors about her resignation at a dinner meeting last Thursday, a day before it was announced.

"My departure from UMW has nothing to do with UMW," she said. The board of visitors did not ask her to resign, Hample added later.

Hample, 62, would not discuss her future plans. Before coming to UMW, she was chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which oversees 14 public universities.

The UMW board will conduct its third presidential search in three years and must name an acting president.

William Anderson retired from UMW in 2006 after 23 years as president. William Frawley succeeded him, only to be fired in April 2007 after being charged with driving under the influence twice in two days.

Hample, who was hired in March 2008, says she doesn't blame herself for the revolving door.

"It's unfortunate that there's been turnover, but I can't and I won't hold myself responsible for that, because I have a very good personal reason for leaving," she said.

Hample spoke at length about her accomplishments, including the university's recently approved strategic plan. That document, which outlines UMW's future, calls for colleges of business and education and other initiatives.

"I was the person who put that on the table and promoted that and helped to build support for that initiative," she said of the colleges of business and education.

She disagrees with those who say she doesn't communicate with students and faculty. Hample noted that she held several forums seeking input on the strategic plan.

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