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Gloria Larson, Bentley president, to step down

Larson, an attorney and public policy expert, started in July 2007.
Larson, an attorney and public policy expert, started in July 2007.David L. Ryan, Globe Staff/File 2015/Globe Staff

Bentley University president Gloria Larson will step down in June 2018 after leading the Waltham school for 11 years, she announced Wednesday in an e-mail to students, professors, and staff.

Larson, an attorney and public policy expert, started in July 2007. She did not say what she plans to do next or the reason for her departure, adding only that she does not expect to retire.

Larson said she felt it was an appropriate time to leave after the school’s recent centennial celebration. “I accomplished what I came here to do, and I’m very proud of everything we’ve done at Bentley,” she said in a statement sent to the Globe.


Larson said the school still has much to accomplish and she will begin that work over the next year. She named several specific areas to improve, including undergraduate student life, graduate programs and research, “international strategy,” technology improvements, and campus diversity.

She said she will also focus her final year on growing the school’s reputation and fund-raising.

“All are necessary ingredients to Bentley’s near-term and long-range success,” she said.

Bentley is a private college in Waltham with 4,200 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduates, according to its website. Sixteen percent of its students are international. The university is known for its business school.

Larson earned $740,500 in fiscal 2015, the most recent data available publicly. That includes a base salary of $504,600 plus a $132,500 bonus as well as retirement contributions and other deferred compensation, according to IRS documentation.

The school has an endowment of $257 million, up from $200 million four years prior, according to the documents.

Board chairman Steven Manfredi praised Larson for leading the school through the 2008 recession and starting programs that focus on skills that earn student jobs after graduation.

“With her leadership and her enthusiasm, she really helped put Bentley in a prominent position over the last 10 years,” he said.


Manfredi said the next president will confront the same hardships that are common at most small colleges today. It is a challenge for Bentley, like many schools, to find a sustainable economic model and recruit students, he said. “A lot of our competition schools are chasing the same students, and finding a way to win that competition is always a challenge,” he said.

Laura Krantz can be reached at laura.krantz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurakrantz.